Cidade de Deus
City of God
Directed by Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles
The Book calls this a horror movie of the first order, which is fairly accurate. Surprisingly, I prefer my horror films to be less disturbing. This is one of those movies that is really not enjoyable to watch, but I still feel slightly obligated to recommend it.
The film depicts the rise of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Mostly, the film follows the extremely violent Li'l Ze and his childhood friend Bene who keeps him in check. Li'l Ze runs a successful drug empire by ruthlessly wiping out his competition. Rocket, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with the violence and dreams of getting out of the slums and becoming a successful photographer.
So like I said, this is an upsetting film. I was so enjoying our streak of movies without rape. I guess it was too good to be true. And we have Irreversible coming up...but I digress. The directors were certainly influenced Tarantino and Scorsese, although the subject matter was a lot more disturbing than anything either of those men have ever come up with. Well, most of what they have come up with.
Still worth watching, especially if you have a stronger stomach than me (which is very likely).
The film was not shut in the Cidade de Deus, as the area is too dangerous.
Leandro Firmino had no acting experience and only went to the audition to keep his friend company. He was later cast as Ze Pequeno.