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katie said on January 23rd, 2006 at 6:18 pm :

Sounds like an interesting one to look into. Although, gore, sex, and violence are not my forte in movie going experiences.

Love the new [old] design..


kines said on January 24th, 2006 at 12:34 am :

Thanks Katie. It took me a bit to realise that the lack of comments was partly due to bad content and partly due to bad design. I know I shouldn’t be relying on commentary just to find incentive to write, but nowadays its the only thing I look forward to…


Faerunner said on January 24th, 2006 at 11:35 am :

*offers a pat on the head and a cookie*

You write pretty well for being busy enough to drive a beaver into the ground ;p

I’ve discovered the library’s spanish/other foreign language movies. One of these days I’ll find time and motivation to check them out… but Cidade de Deus isn’t among them. Must look elsewhere.. it looks good.


olivia said on January 27th, 2006 at 7:41 am :

i havent seen that one yet.
i’m somewhat scared of watching it.

Jan 21, 2006 | Cidade de Deus

I just saw Cidade de Deus (“City of Gods”), a striking, powerful and intense movie about the gangs that ruled (and most probably still rule) the favelas or slums of Rio de Janeiro. It adopts a very unique documentary-esque, almost handheld camera viewpoint of the life and times of Buscapé (aka Wilson Rodrigues), a youth of the Cidade de Deus, a slum city in Rio. It’s based on the book by the same name by Paulo Lins and is directed by the Fernando Meirelles who just recently completed the film “The Constant Gardner”. There’s plenty of violence comitted by trigger-happy gangsters whose daily life consists of drug deals, sex, thievery, murder and the ever-present tightrope walk between life and death at the hands of an unsatisfied dealer or the cops.

It does a terribly good job of unsettling the audience with the doubt about whether or not a character is ‘good’, and whether or not he or she will be able to escape the confines of the slum city- alive. Though it is most definitely not a film for the weak at heart, it is perhaps a heart-wrenching eye-opener to the harsh realities of the slums, one that mustn’t be overlooked. There’s also a great deal of attention given to preventing the Hollywood-isation and over-dramatisation of events- many of the actors came from favelas within Rio, and some of the scenes were captured and kept even though they were improvised or unintended. Amongst it all there are still elements of humaneness, hard as it is at times to believe.

Another highlight of the film is the way it was made- it has its pivot around a scene that the movie begins with, a scene that is revisited several times in the film, and thus has a well-defined chronology to it. The plot is not complex but not simple either- the colors are vivid and impactful.

Thus I’d probably recommend this film for those who can stomach blatant violence in exchange for a stirring, sad but real film about the life of one in the favelas.

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2006 at 11:21 pm, EST under the category of Movie Reviews. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.