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Thread: City of God (2003) - 1/17

  1. #1

    City of God (2003) - 1/17

    City of God (2003)

    Synopsis: Cidade de Deus (City of God) is a housing project built in the 1960's that--in the early 80's--became one of the most dangerous places in Rio de Janeiro. The tale tells the stories of many characters whose lives sometimes intersect. However, all is seen through the eyes of a singular narrator: Busca-Pé, a poor black youth too frail and scared to become an outlaw, but also too smart to be content with underpaid, menial jobs. He grows up in a very violent environment. The odds are all against him. But Busca-Pé soon discovers that he can see reality differently than others. His redemption is that he's been given an artist's point of view as a keen-eyed photographer. As Busca-Pé is not the real protagonist of the film--only the narrator--he is not the one who makes the decisions that will determine the sequence of events. Nevertheless, not only his life is attached to what happens in the story, but it is also through Busca-Pé's perspective of life that one can understand the complicated layers and humanity of a world, apparently condemned to endless violence.

    Genre(s): Drama, Foreign Rating: MPAA R Runtime: 133 mins.

    Miramax Films, Miramax International
    Theatrical Release: 01/17/2003 Video Release: Not available

    Cast & Role
    Alexandre Rodrigues -- Busca-Pé
    Leandro Firmino De Hora -- Phellipe Ze Pequeno
    Seu Jorge -- Mane Galinha
    Jonathan Haagensen -- Cabeleira
    Matheus Nachtergaele -- Sandro Cenoura
    Phelipe Haagensen -- Bene
    Douglas Silva -- Dadinho
    Roberta Rodriguez -- Silvia Berenice

    Fernando Meirelles

  2. #2
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    On the mat
    This is a "life in the projects" film, apparently. Any idea if it's in Spanish with english subtitles?

  3. #3
    Hmmmm...this one sounds pretty good, thanks Wolf. I'll keep an eye out for it.

  4. #4
    It does sound interesting, but it's a foreign film. I'm not big into foreign films, which is a mistake on my part. I've heard that a lot of foreign films are pretty good.

    Anywho, this sounds like it was done in Brazil (rio de Janeiro), so I'm guessing it will be portuguese with english subtitles.

  5. #5
    This is the best movie I've seen in the longest time. (And not because Roger Ebert told me so.) If you liked Goodfellas, you should see this movie. If you love Scarface, see this movie. If you liked Boyz in the Hood or Menace to Society, see this movie. It's a mindblowing gangster epic. Very violent but it's very relevant to what we see in the news.

    Also, don't worry about the subtitles. A few minutes into the flick and you'll forget you're reading subtitles. The images and actions are so powerful.

    Run don't walk to Blockbuster!

  6. #6
    I like them silent WomynLee's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Los Angeles
    I mentioned this movie on another thread. It's one of my favorites. It's a VERY well made movie based on a true story. I highly recommend it.

  7. #7
    FORT Fan
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    Jul 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by happyblue
    Run don't walk to Blockbuster!
    Man, I did...twice...and I still haven't seen it. They need to get more than one copy of City of God, instead of 70 copies of Paycheck
    Tugboats and arson. That's all I ever get from you guys.

  8. #8
    Leave No Trace ADKLove's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Seems I'm Lost.
    Quote Originally Posted by happyblue
    This is the best movie I've seen in the longest time. (And not because Roger Ebert told me so.) If you liked Goodfellas, you should see this movie. If you love Scarface, see this movie. If you liked Boyz in the Hood or Menace to Society, see this movie. It's a mindblowing gangster epic. Very violent but it's very relevant to what we see in the news.

    Also, don't worry about the subtitles. A few minutes into the flick and you'll forget you're reading subtitles. The images and actions are so powerful.

    Run don't walk to Blockbuster!

    I finally saw this film. Powerful Violent. Disturbing. Epic. So good I've watched it twice.

    I'll echo your sentiments (all of them) as posted above. This movie is a must see. The best film I've seen in a long time.
    Love many, trust a few, and always paddle your own canoe

  9. #9
    Im ready for my closeup.. Tallulahbaby's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    Sunset Blvd
    I just saw this film...twice. Im at loss for words. What a powerful movie. It is one of the best Ive seen in a long time. It almost felt as if I was in it experiencing it too. It was so mesmerizing. I recommend it !!!! See it, See it See it!!!
    Coco Magdalena made her debut Sept 2, 2006 7lbs 1oz!!!

    "Daddy warned me about Men and Booze, but didn't say anything about Women and Cocaine" - Tallulah Bankhead

  10. #10
    Kao is offline
    Donyale y Dali: OTP Kao's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Watch this movie.

    Then watch the special features on the DVD.

    The special features on the DVD version will make you very, very angry. It is a sad statement of your society when the druglords offer more protection to the ordinary poor citizens than the police. In one interview, this woman even thanks God for the "drug dealers keeping the police out." I still remember with chills a special on Hard Copy (or a Current Affair, or another show like it) years ago where they showed footage of Brazilian policemen gunning down young children like rats. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! They were actually going into alleys and hauling the children out and shooting them- and these weren't teenagers in the drug trade, these were 5-10 year old kids whose only crime was being hungry. This litle kid about age 7 or so was running away bawling his eyes out and this cop grabbed him and just shot him in the head in front of God and everybody. And then he tossed his body away like he was trash and was running to catch the next little kid...it made me ill to watch it. And it definitely made me cry.

    The "official" reason why Rio de Janerio allowed the wholesale murder of these children? They needed to "sweep the streets" for the tourists for Carnival, and most of the children (who were orphans who stick together, which is part of the reason why nobody gave a damn) were pickpocket thieves.

    I wish I could say that this was an isolated incident, but I would be wrong, as this article demonstrates:


    One thing people need to understand is that in Brazil, you are either rich or poor. There is no such thing as a middle class there, nor a safety net for the poor. If you want a decent education you have to pay for it. Or be a foreigner, since foreigners have their own schools.

    The educational system in Brazil is compulsory for children ages 7 to 14. Brazil has both public and private sectors in education. Public education is free to all Brazilians. Private schooling is not free. The government gives 25% of its revenue to the public schooling system and some to the private . Significant changes have been made in Brazil's education structure in the past 25 years, however, there is still a long battle to fight for the educational development in Brazil. Public schools in Brazil are not well cared for. The building structures, plumbing, and heating are usually in terrible condition. Many schools lack equipment needed and resources. In the Northeast region of Brazil, teachers are not well educated to teach. Many of them have not completed primary school themselves. Poverty and lack of schooling contribute to a vicious cycle of illiteracy in Brazil. Some areas of Brazil have more than half of the population that cannot write their own name. The country's private schools, however, are in a much better state as more money is given to them and educated teachers work for these institutions.

    Children are required to attend school, however, many of them do not. In the major city centers children do attend public school, however, these are not all the children. Usually, children of rich or middle class families attend school. Most children from well off families attend private schools unlike the children from poor families. Poor children have to work and cannot go to school because they have to support their families. Others, living in remote areas have to travel a long distance to get to school and therefore, usually do not attend. The dropout rate in Brazil is very high; 33 out of every 100 students who enter grade one make it to grade six. The numbers continue to drop in high school as well. Another issue that prohibits children from receiving an education are the availability of facilities. Many children want to go to school, however, there is not a school they can go to. Sometimes schools are too far to travel to or there are not enough classrooms in a school for all children to attend. School hours are sometimes divided into three sessions during the day so that all children have an opportunity to attend for at least part of the day. Usually, this sharing of the classrooms happens in the cities. The more affluent regions provide better education for their people.

    Today, the government is trying to improve the education system of Brazil. Brazil still has a huge foreign debt. Much of the country's money goes to pay off the national debt, leaving little for the education systems. Since 1998, reform efforts have made high school free and they are allocating 18% of the countries total budget to education. These efforts are made in hopes that the literacy level will increase. The future of Brazil is dependent on the development of their education system.
    The rich hire bodyguards who shadow their every step against people in a situation which they helped create. Businessmen will not hire someone from the favelas for even the most menial of jobs; they will pay to ship people in from somewhere else to do the work because they do not trust them. The government does not help the poor better their lot in life because they, like the businessmen, consider those in the favelas as being vermin, less than human. Only if you are clever (or very smart) can you escape; through education, the arts, or someone well-placed who takes a direct interest in you as a person. The money that the drug dealers make goes toward sending the younger children in the household to school most of the time, and for things like food and clothes. Others use the money to help out elderly in their favelas, and for things we take for granted, like clean water and cooking gas. They are NOT like US drug dealers who are all blinged out with gold and fancy sneakers rolling around in hundred dollar bills, where if you change your mind about thugging it out or cooking that meth up there's a hundred and one different social programs to give you a helping hand and put you on the path of the straight and narrow. And if there's a soup kitchen in the favelas, the odds are 10 to one that a drug dealer paid for it and all the food in it!

    I won' t even get into the sex trade aspect, as the movie doesn't go into that.

    There is also a documentary about the police's point of view as well. It is very hard to be an honest policeman in Brazil, one that is fair and tries to do his best for the people. Either he has one too many of his friends shot up by dealers and start kicking it vigilante style or they find it more profitable to work both sides of the fence, and there is no system in check to discipline officers who do this because the powers that be simply don't care. If you complain about it, you might have an accident one day, or not get backup at a time you need it most. Instead of having a few rotten apples in the barrel, you have a whole rotten barrel of apples with a few apples trying their best to roll out. Quite a few who would be wonderful police anywhere else sign on with private security companies to keep their souls intact rather than stay on the police force.

    What's the worst part? Brazil is a beautiful country, with its people rating up there with some of the most beautiful diverse looking people in the world, both male and female. Strip away the violence, drugs, sex trade and poverty an dyou will find some of the most warmhearted people as well. The saddest thing of all is that it is so unsafe in areas that the people who would be willing to go and help out cannot.

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