City of God [Cidade de Deus] is a 2002 crime drama feature film that is directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-directed by Kátia Lund. It is a Brazilian film that aims to tell a story about organised crime in the real city with the same name as the film title itself. It is adapted from a novel with the same name by Paulo Lins. This film features a few Brazilian actors such as Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino and Douglas Silva. Read on the City of God film review below to see if this city deserves your precious time!
City of God is a Brazilian Crime Drama that is loosely based on real event. This movie is, in essence, full of contrast and cycle. Basically, the whole film is narrated by the Buscape, who is an honest boy living in the slums of the City of God, where two gangs start a civil war. As his life moves onto adulthood, he starts to be involved deeper into the slum without it being his intention. Could he survive the deadly yet lively city till the end?
It begins with the end and ends with the beginning. The contrast is shown starkly in most parts of the film. You will see violence vs love, slump vs modern, poverty vs wealth and much more. The movie cleverly combines them all into one believable story world. Everything makes up one another and is also the reason the other side exists. Surprisingly, Buscape is not even on the scene most of the time! This perspective of storytelling mixed with a beautiful violence world leads to an unexpectedly engaging film.
What really stands out, in my opinion, is how the Director chose to pace the story with different chapters. Most of the characters are shown in the beginning but take turn to be explored in the middle, and we are shown how all of them are intertwined. We get the feeling of progression in a way that doesn’t bore you down. There is always something or someone introduced that present an interesting perspective.