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Cidade de Deus (2002)
Beautifully told story w/ an intricately woven plot and a barage of interesting/real characters.
I had the priviledge of seeing this movie at the Telluride Film Festival this year and immediately fell in love. I believe it was the best film shown there - even better than 'Bowling for Columbine' or 'Frida'(although these were very, very, good). Its twisted storyline and large number of characters identified only by gang nick-names, is reminicent of movies like 'Pulp Fiction,' 'Resovior Dogs' or 'Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels/Snatch'(because 'Lock, Stock...' and 'Snatch' are essentially the same movie). In fact, when recommending it to friends, I describe it as "A Brazilian Guy Ritchie/Tarantino-esque Film(yes, you can quote me on that)." City of God's description of the corrupt city near Rio de Janero is very strong and persuasive. Its actors seem like they are not acting at all - which is in fact, true. The director went to this city and offered the natives acting lessons as simple classes they could take. But, in reality, he was really holding auditions for the film! Genious idea if you are trying to capture reality instead of bringing in fake, over-aged, Hollywood, no-talent models, putting them in native clothing, placing guns in their hands and expecting them to do the job. "But enough of my yackin'," as Rob Reiner narrates in 'This is Spinal Tap,' go out and see what a call a foreign masterpiece for yourself.