My questions in bold. Mark’s answers below!
Q1) Do you remember when you first saw the movie?
I remember when I got it on DVD shortly after it’s release. I was attempting to go through as many foreign language film’s as I could and this film was one of the best of very long list.
Q2) Why do you think that it’s recommendable? What do you like about it?
It’s one that I’d recommend to most people who enjoy world cinema. It’s gritty realism has been likened to many US movies and stylistic directors like Scorsese and Tarantino. Anyone who’s a fan of them (and most are) should see this film. I love its rawness and unflinching depiction of the dangerous Brazilian favela’s.
Q3) Is the movie underappreciated, do you think? Or does pop culture have it fairly rated?
I don’t think the movie is under appreciated. Some may not have crossed its path yet but those that have, often speak very highly of it. On the Imdb’s Top 250 list, it stands at a very respectable No:21. None too shabby if you ask me.
Q4) Is there any particular reason you thought I should watch it, or were you just surprised I hadn’t seen it?
It doesn’t really surprise me that some people have yet to see it. This is often the case with foreign movies, but when you started your Readers Recommendation series I definitely thought that you should check this one out.
Q5) Have you written about the movie yourself? (Insert plug here! LOL )
Unfortunately, I haven’t written about it. (which is a shame, as a bit of linkage is always welcome). I include the film in my personal Top Ten and it’s the only film on that list that I haven’t reviewed yet. I must remedy that.
Thanks Mark! My Review is below!
Set in a slum town on the outskirts of Rio De Janeiro, “City of God” paints a picture of an impoverished world, riddled with crime. A ruthless gang leader named Lil-Z rules with an iron fist, selling drugs, eliminating rivals, and conscripting child soldiers. When a feud breaks out over a woman Lil-Z is interested in, City of God is turned into a war zone in which no one is safe.
Rocket, the film’s narrator, grows up as the younger brother of a hoodlum. He reflects back upon the story of how his older brother’s gang was torn apart after the bloody robbery of a motel. Eventually, it led to his brother’s death. All Rocket wants to do now is to become a photographer and escape the slums. Fortunately for his, the hellish environs he lives in are rife with big story photography opportunities.
Given the violent nature of his surroundings, however, will Rocket be able to survive and make his way out? Or will he become yet another innocent casualty of City of God?
“City of God” is an incredible film. Directed with an abundance of style by Fernando Meirelles, it takes an unflinching look at a lawless, dog eat dog world with little hope or opportunity, and an excess of violence. Drugs, robberies, rapes, arms dealing, gang warfare, children killing children… the world of “City of God” is like a real life Lord of the Flies heightened by guns and drugs. It’s a harrowing movie that doesn’t flinch from showing any of the butchery and brutality. In Meirelles’ hands, though, it becomes an intoxicating watch. Utilizing a hand-held guerilla style approach, Meirelles immerses the viewer in the frenetic, dangerous world and doesn’t let them up to breathe.
Many of the actors were actual residents of Brazilian favelas (shanty towns). That, combined with the fact that the novel the film was based on was inspired by true events, gives the film a frighteningly authentic feel. It was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2004: Best Cinematography, Best Directing, Best Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was highly deserving of each nomination it received.
“City of God” is a kinetic film full of danger and crime and the cost that it takes on the innocent. It has an underlying “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind” feel to it on a grand scale. It’s an epic story set in a world of savagery that few of us here can relate to. It truly is a powerful, unforgettable film.