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City of God (2002)

Cidade de Deus (original title)
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Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #21 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 65 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Zé Pequeno - Li'l Zé (as Leandro Firmino da Hora)
Phellipe Haagensen ...
...
...
Matheus Nachtergaele ...
...
Mané Galinha - Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino ...
Alicate - Clipper
...
Emerson Gomes ...
Edson Oliveira ...
Michel de Souza ...
Bené Criança - Young Benny (as Michel De Souza Gomes)
Roberta Rodrigues ...
Luis Otávio ...
Maurício Marques ...
Cabeção - Melonhead
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Storyline

Brazil, 1960s, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970s: 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. 1980s: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jeffmellinger@astound.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, sexuality, drug content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City of God  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$541,996 (Brazil) (30 August 2002)

Gross:

$7,563,397 (USA) (18 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two main actors, Alexandre Rodrigues (Buscapé) and Leandro Firmino (Zé Pequeno), were given the option to to get paid R$10,000 (about US$3,000) upfront or a percentage of the box office. Having no idea how successful the film would be, they chose upfront payment. Even if they were only getting 1% of the box office, it would have been 25 times more than what they got. See more »

Goofs

When the Tender Trio are running away into the woods after they crashed into a neighbor's house, Shaggy says that Goose messed up his ankle but it's actually Clipper. Goose's ankle is fine. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Zé Pequeno: Whoa, the chicken ran away. Get that chicken, dude!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Actor Alexandre Rodrigues who played as Rocket, his real name was credited in one scene. after Lil ze's death, when the picture was published on newspaper, we can see the name Alexandre Rodrigues as photo credits at top of the picture instead of Rocket or Wilson Rodrigues. See more »

Connections

Features Jornal Nacional (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Up I Feel Like Being Like (Sex Machine)
Written by James Brown / Bobby Byrd / Ronald R. Lenhoff
Performed by James Brown
Dynatone Publishing Company
(Represented in Brazil by Warner Chappell Edições Musicais Ltda)
Used by permission from Universal Music Ltda
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best unseen foreign films
30 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen this movie only recently (2005) and it's easily one of the better foreign films I have seen. Actually, it's probably just about one of the best films I had ever seen.

The characters really make this movie come alive with each of their compelling personalities shining though in the backdrop of oppressive conditions and constant violence. One thing which clearly comes to mind is "Lil' Dice's" ear to ear smile - so vivid and yet so ironic since he personifies pure evil.

The City of God is a world you don't want to visit, it won't be featured on a post card, and it's said to be the city ignored by god himself. This movie makes you feel uncomfortable, puts you on the edge of your seat -- you are right into the middle of the City and you too are caught up in it's violent temptation. More importantly, it's about the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.

This movie in effect is fast paced and hard to follow (with the added stress of subtitles over Portuguese), but it's worth it; and in fact really adds to the impetuous and impulsive undertones of the movie. In addition, the quintessential Brazilian music blending into the film like a well made Caprahina makes it feel authentic like the Italian music in the God Father.

You see the flaws of these men played out in an almost fatalistic nature -- hated, greed, futility; and in it all we see ourselves, our own flaws, and our own condition.


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