#358/ 365 – ‘City of God’ (2002) – 130 mins
IMDb Challenge #230 / 250 – Ranked #18 – DVD Collection
Brazil, 1960’s, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well…too well. 1970’s: Li’l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980’s: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs…will it ever end?
Wow I’d never seen ‘City of God’ before today. Narrated by Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) its powerful and haunting film that chronicles a myriad of stories that lie deep within the teen gang slums of Rio de Janeiro. At times the violence in City of God is extreme and disturbing, I found it almost too hard to watch the scene when a boy is forced to kill one of two young children crying in the gutter. To make things worse, he has to choose which child to kill.
Though despite its grim and serious subject matter, with its frenetic but effective cinematic technique, energy and vitality whipped in with a pulsating soundtrack its exhilarating ride that roars at you – an experience to savor.