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City of Men (2007)

Cidade dos Homens (original title)
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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.

Director:

Paulo Morelli

Writers:

Elena Soarez (screenplay) (as Elena Soárez), Roberto Moreira (screenplay collaboration) | 3 more credits »
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Douglas Silva ... Acerola
Darlan Cunha Darlan Cunha ... Laranjinha
Jonathan Haagensen ... Madrugadão
Rodrigo dos Santos Rodrigo dos Santos ... Heraldo
Camila Monteiro Camila Monteiro ... Cris
Naima Silva Naima Silva ... Camila (as Naíma Silva)
Eduardo 'BR' Piranha Eduardo 'BR' Piranha ... Nefasto (as Eduardo BR)
Luciano Vidigal Luciano Vidigal ... Fiel
Pedro Henrique Pedro Henrique ... Caju
Vítor Oliveira Vítor Oliveira ... Clayton
Vinícius Oliveira Vinícius Oliveira ... Clayton
Rafaela Santos Rafaela Santos ... Bela da Madrugada
Fábio Lago Fábio Lago ... Ceara
Claudio Jaborandy ... Complice de Heraldo
Babu Santana Babu Santana ... Drug lord from Morro do Careca
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An unforgettable tale of friendship and survival in a city where the greatest challenge is growing up.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Brazil

Language:

Portuguese

Release Date:

31 August 2007 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Men See more »

Filming Locations:

São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

BSD 563,687 (Brazil), 2 September 2007, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$130,579, 2 March 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$307,076, 16 March 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Thiago Martins and Darlan Cunha have a song in the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

When Camila is showing Wallace her hair and telling him where Ace is, a leg of the tripod holding the close up camera is visible on the right side in the wide shot of them. See more »

Connections

Features City of Men: O Cunhado do Cara (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

A Segunda Memória
Written by Antonio Pinto
Antonio Pinto: additional percussion, voices, programmings
Bruno Buarque: percussion
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

God help us . . .
23 February 2008 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Poverty, to be picturesque, should be rural. Suburban misery is as hideous as it is pitiable." Anthony Trollope

Whew! I'm out of breath following youth gangs in the favela of Rio as they fight for a city hill as if they were in WWII's Pork Chop battle. Machine guns rule; women do not (contrary to the stereotype of matriarchal Latin society). It may not be City of God, the frenetic precursor using two of the same actors, but it has the Battle of Algiers' claustrophobia, which had a better-appointed Kasbah yet the same feeling of people darting around corners to avoid ever present Death.

The two central characters, teenage boys trying to keep their friendship and families in tact while around them chaos rules, veer between themselves and annihilation as they fight off the temptation to carry weapons like their friends yet can't find a way to survive without guns. There is more, however, than just gang warfare because sub-textually director/writer Paulo Morelli identifies a root cause of the dislocations—absentee fathers. (Heck, even the current Spiderwick uses this powerful ingredient.) Much of the film is dedicated to one of the boys finding his father and the other coming to terms with the murder of his. While the former is adequately explored, the latter could have used much more explanation for the boy's suddenly joining the gang's war. Could it have been the murder of his father? I can't tell you.

The requisite hillside shots of the Rio harbor help the figurative contrast between the rich Brazilian scenery and the squalor of the barrio. Both conditions, of course, help to emphasize the globally accurate distance between the have's and the have not's, a condition the present economic global downturn is exacerbating. City of Men is a city of all men, racing through the labyrinth of life trying to survive, and losing.

City of God is a movie that contradicts its name; City of Men is spot on—God help us.


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