Best buddies Acerola and Laranjinha, about to turn 18, discover things about their missing fathers' pasts which will shatter their solid friendship, in the middle of a war between rival drug gangs from Rio's favelas.
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In the slum in Morro da Sinuca, a couple of days before turning eighteen year-old, Laranjinha tells his best friend and also orphan Acerola that he misses his unknown father. Acerola decides to help his needy friend to find his father and they discover that he is in prison convicted for killing a man during a robbery and near to be released on parole. Meanwhile, Acerola's wife and babysitter Cris is invited to work in São Paulo and she sees the chance to raise money to buy a house of her own; she tells Acerola that he must take care of their son Clayton alone for one year. When the owner of the hill and Laranjinha's cousin Madrugadão is betrayed by his right-hand Nefasto, he is expelled from the slum and Laranjinha and Acerola have also to leave the hill. While Madrugadão plots a plan to invade and recover the hill with the support of the gang of the drug lord from Morro do Careca, Acerola and Laranjinha unravel the past of their fathers. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Citade de Deus" ("City of God") was a Brazilian masterpiece telling the story about the gang wars in the Brazilian favelas (slums) during the '70s from the perspective of a boy who wants to become a journalist. Based on a true story, it gives you a quite realistic impression of what it was like to live back then in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
After the success of "Citade de Deus", Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, (the directors) created a series called "Cidade dos Homens" ("City of God") based on the same concept taking place in the present which in 2007 was turned into another feature length film with the same title.
As I haven't seen the series I cannot judge it, but the film "Cidade dos Homens" was not nearly as good as the first. Telling the story of two friends growing up in the Rio favelas, the film starts out real slow and never manages to become nearly as compelling as "Citade de Deus" was. Certainly, the fighting between the two rivaling gangs is exciting to watch but this only but a small part of the film and the rest of it consists of little more than the two friends trying to survive and maintain their friendship. There is little depth in any of the other characters and this makes the film fairly pointless to watch for anyone who's already seen "Citade de Deus". While not a bad film by any standards, but it's by no means better than mediocre either. I expected more from the people who brought us "Citade de Deus". Was this a cheap attempt to get some easy money?!?
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