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City of God (2002)

Cidade de Deus (original title)
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In the slums of Rio, two kids' paths diverge as one struggles to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.

Directors:

Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund (co-director)

Writers:

Paulo Lins (novel), Bráulio Mantovani (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
633 ( 82)
Top Rated Movies #20 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexandre Rodrigues ... Buscapé - Rocket
Leandro Firmino ... Zé Pequeno - Li'l Zé (as Leandro Firmino da Hora)
Phellipe Haagensen Phellipe Haagensen ... Bené - Benny
Douglas Silva ... Dadinho - Li'l Dice
Jonathan Haagensen ... Cabeleira - Shaggy
Matheus Nachtergaele Matheus Nachtergaele ... Sandro Cenoura - Carrot
Seu Jorge ... Mané Galinha - Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino Jefechander Suplino ... Alicate - Clipper
Alice Braga ... Angélica
Emerson Gomes Emerson Gomes ... Barbantinho - Stringy
Edson Oliveira Edson Oliveira ... Barbantinho Adulto - Older Stringy
Michel Gomes Michel Gomes ... Bené Criança - Young Benny (as Michel De Souza Gomes)
Roberta Rodrigues Roberta Rodrigues ... Berenice - Bernice
Luis Otávio Luis Otávio ... Buscapé Criança - Young Rocket
Kiko Marques Kiko Marques ... Cabeção - Melonhead (as Maurício Marques)
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Brazil | France

Language:

Portuguese

Release Date:

13 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of God See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Opening Weekend USA:

$114,442, 19 January 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,563,397

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,059,295
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the DVD commentary track, director Fernando Meirelles reveals that the shot in which we see Alicate, Cabeleira and Marreco through the bumper of the gas truck is a homage/spoof of the TV series Charlie's Angels (1976) (the three boys are seen holding their guns pointing to different ways). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the tender trio are robbing the gas man and giving out the free gas, when the police arrive and the gang are running off, in the back ground there is a woman in a yellow dress carrying a big gas canister, yet in the next shot she is seen running in the same spot without the gas. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

During the end credits there is shown actual real-life footage of the real Mané Galinha, or Knockout-Ned as he is translated into in the American version of the film. This is in fact the same TV interview we see constructed in the film, and we can see that the filmmakers have copied this TV interview down to the smallest detail. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK DVD displays the decade titles in English rather than Portuguese. See more »

Connections

Followed by City of Men (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold Back the Water
Written by Randy Bachman / Robin Bachman / Charles Tuner
Performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Sony Music 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 films you'll ever see!"--Roger Ebert, does it live up to the hype?
28 November 2004 | by ragin_kaginSee all my reviews

The film revolves around the, 'City of God,' a favela (or ghetto) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a horrifying area where drug dealers run the community, and where children killing children is not an uncommon occurrence.

The story begins with the early stages of the City of God (in the 1960's) showing where many of the problems stem from- the extreme poverty, overcrowding etc. Here, in the early stages of the favela, we meet our main characters, along with the supporting cast. The story revolves mainly around two characters living in the favela, Rocket and Lil Ze, and how they take two different paths through life. Rocket's dream is to become a photographer and to escape the City of God while Lil Ze becomes a powerful gang leader and drug dealer.

The film offers an unflinching look at gang life in the City of God, as it follows the favela through three decades; the 60's, 70's and 80's, and shows how violence just spirals into more violence with the disturbingly high amounts of violence in the favela, most involving teenagers and children.

The direction, cinematography, and editing are all Oscar-worthy. The cinematography is some of the best I have ever seen- with a very visceral, jerky feel, very reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan. The editing is very frantic, which makes you feel like you are on the streets of the City of God, and the direction is flawless, seamlessly blending the many elements of the story.

The film was definitely one of the best films I have ever seen. The story, the direction, the cinematography, the editing and the acting all add up to make a excellent movie that I would recommend to all.

10/10, A+

Would also recommend: Bus 174 and Carandiru


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