7.5/10
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10 user 12 critic

Megacities (1998)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 8 January 1999 (Austria)
A look at the people who live precariously, but with an unusual level of resourcefulness and imagination, in four gigantic urban agglomerations: Mumbai, New York City, Moscow and Mexico City.

Director:

Michael Glawogger
Reviews
5 wins. See more awards »

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Storyline

This documentary deals with work, poverty, violence, love and sex. A film about human beauty in twelve chapters which tells the tales of people from Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow and New York, who are all struggling for survival, with ingenuity, intelligence and dignity. They all share the dream of a better life. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

12 Geschichten vom Überleben

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Austria | Switzerland

Language:

Hindi | English | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

8 January 1999 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Megaloupoleis See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fama Film AG, Lotus Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

opening text overlay: And perhaps in abodes of poverty, where health, learning, shelter and security are not birthrights, the soul is not a birthright, either. - William T. Vollmann
See more »

Connections

References Bombay (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

El Amor de mi Vida
Written by Camilo Sesto
Performed by Camilo Sesto and Rafael Pérez Botija
Courtesy of Arabella Musikverlag GmbH (BMG UFA Musikverlage)
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User Reviews

 
frightfully realistic
13 August 1999 | by Ed-165See all my reviews

I haven't seen lots of documentaries, but this was one of the best ones I've seen in years. The film portrays the poor, homeless, and drug addicted citizens of Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow and New York City. Some scenes are so realistic that I wondered how they were shot - e.g. some of the scenes with the heroin addict in New York City.

Seeing a film like this also makes you realize how many people's stories do not get told by Hollywood films. When is the last time you saw some mass marketed film about a mother who strip dances to feed her children? Or a man who shakes different colored paint through a sieve for a living? The only other film I can think of like this was Hoop Dreams, but that at least dealt with young people with a chance to make something of their lives. Megacities deals with those who didn't make it and never will.

Yet some scenes aren't completely depressing. There's a DJ in New York City, asking his listeners to describe how they survive in the city. There are children in India who take turns watching an Indian soap opera. Finally and most disgusting, there's a scene with a whole barrel full of chickens whose necks have been broken and throats slashed but yet still move around and splatter their blood against the wall.

I'm surprised that so few people have seen (and thus voted) this film, especially considering it won awards in three continents. If you get a chance to see it, do, but be forewarned of its vividness.

10/10


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