Director: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund(!)
Writers: Paulo Lins (novel), Bráulio Mantovani(screenplay)
Made in Portuguese with English subtitles the movie captures the zeitgeist and anarchy of the slums of Rio de Jeneiro in the 60’s like no other movie has done ever . Technically flawless, the effect of a disturbing and unforgiving life at the City of Gods is accentuated by the chilling narrative that Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) delivers with aplomb. The shots have a strange glow to them, which makes violence seem porridge. Also the gut-wrenching laughter of Li’l Ze(Leandro Firmino da Hora).
Like all good flicks, Cidade de Deus, begin with a gripping sequence of barely adults chasing a chicken with pistols though the by lanes of the slum. The narrative portrays the lives of two children in the violence-infested region of Brazil. One grows up to be a warlord, the other a photographer. However, unlike most gangster films, this one shows the human side of the characters, their insecurities, their perspective, their hubris, and their fall. And by the end of the film you are bound to fall in love with almost all the characters. At least their bravery and the will to survive against all odds. Like a mosaic of moss.
Though the violence and poverty hits you like a speeding train on a winter night, there is no denying there exists a greater evil. Amidst all the blood and gore, truly a tribute to the power of life.