Tuesday, June 9, 2015

City Of God - 無法無天

City Of God (無法無天) is an 2002 film out of Brazil. The movie stars Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Phellipe Haagensen, and Alice Braga. The movie is based in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "Cidade de Deus" translates to "City Of God".

The story starts in the 1960s when a favela called the Cidade de Deus gets off the ground. Three hoodlums steal and loot the area. A couple of younger boys idolize them and get into the looting business. Fast forward to the 1970s and Cidade de Deus has developed from dirt roads to buildings and paved roads. The main protagonist is now near adulthood and hangs out with hippies. While he's living life trying to get the girl and lose his virginity, the drug lords of the area are killed off and run by Lil' Z. A competitor named Carrot and him have some years of peace. But Lil'Z isn't satisfied with sharing his turf with Carrot and a war breaks out. The main protagonist, named Rocket, is witness to many of the events and tells it in story arcs. The war between Lil'Z and Carrot eventually comes to an end and a new generation of hoodlums take over.

This was a repeat showing for me. I had watched this film back in either 2002 or 2003. It was making waves as one of the better movies in the world at the time. A compelling story told and the acted is fantastic. Fernando Meirelles, the director, goes on to a major Hollywood film after this. Alice Braga has transitioned to mostly Hollywood work.

I remember watching this with my wife and being horrified that we would never visit Brazil. However, family members and co-workers from Brazil have changed my opinion through the years. We also have slums in the USA, just a different style.

The movie was a good one and worth a watch. Repeat watches also recommended.

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