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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)
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Popularity
767 ( 16)
Top Rated Movies #21 | 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:

If you run, the beast will get you. If you stay, the beast will eat you 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 | Germany

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

The scene where the gang prays before the war was not scripted. During the shooting a young boy, who used to be in a real gang, asked director Fernando Meirelles if the group was not going to pray like they always did before any important confrontation with their enemies. Meirelles told him to lead the prayer as they shot the scene. See more »

Goofs

Whenever Tio Sam is in the apartment to sell Ze Pequeno the weapons, he inquires whether or not Ze has seen a mini Ruger, which is the same caliber of an M-16, inaccessible in Brazil. Ze shows no interest or knowledge of the Ruger, though he is shown holding up one just like it whenever Buscape is taking photos of the gang. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The closing credits shows pictures of the main actors, their name, their character's name and pictures of the real life characters (for the ones based on existing people). See more »

Alternate Versions

The brief orgy scene in the brothel killing sequence was edited out of the version screened in Singapore, despite the movie's R(A) rating (for 21 year olds and older). See more »

Connections

Referenced in City of Men: Em Algum Lugar do Futuro (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

So Very Hard to Go
Written by Emilio Castillo / Stephen M. Coppock
Performed by Tower of Power
Bob-a-Lew Music / Arika Music
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best unseen foreign films
30 March 2005 | by panjshir_lionSee 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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