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
Not for everyone, but yet another important film educating all of us that we have a lot to be grateful for!
Director Fernando Meirelles' Brazilian gang warfare epic "City of God" made its mark in cinematic history as the premier film on depicting the horrors of drug trafficking & gang violence in Rio, Brazil's favelas. So why not a "city pass" on a sequel? A few years after the "City of God" fame, Meirelles and other collaborators including Director Paulo Morelli decided to produce a Brazilian TV episodic series entitled "City of Men" on the same premise. They casted young Brazilian actors Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha as two charismatic best friends living their lives in spite of all the gang warfare that surrounds them in Rio's favelas. The series was a success, and the time to hit the silver screen came calling to the story of "City of Men". Even though "City of Men" does not involve the same characters of "City of God", it still does incorporate the same themes of it predecessor including: friendship, loyalty, drugs, poverty, violence, and survival. However, the overlying theme of "City of God" was drug trafficking with all the aforementioned as background themes. While the forefront of "City of Men" is the young protagonists' quest to find their unknown fathers with all the aforementioned also incorporated as background themes. "City of Men" does not excel in masterful storytelling and character development as "City of God" but it does hit the mark on the survival fortitude of its main protagonists. Meirelles only served as producer this time around and wisely transplanted the talents of Director Morelli and stars Silva & Cunha to the big screen adaptation. All of them hit the mark with their efforts. Even though many of the themes are terrifying and at sporadic times disturbing to look at, "City of Men" continues to keep it rio on the realities of a drug & gang induced life in Rio's favelas. **** Good
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