City of God - Cidade de Deus

Has anybody seen this movie? Just wondering what you all think of it.

Is it based on St. Augustine’s great work of the same title?

The Brazilian film based on a true story?

We rented it from Netflix. It was good, very engrossing if you don’t mind subtitles. There was graphic violence and drug culture so definitely not for kids. I thought it was a rather heartbreaking look at how these kids who came from the same projects came to such different ends, and how easy it is to resort to crime when you don’t see any other way out- but of course crime is no way out.

I’m surprised others haven’t seen this…

Anybody else?

I’ve watched it and based on the movie to write an economic essay, which was awarded with a prize of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Portuguese Catholic University). The essay was basicly about the importance of the middle class on a developed country, and how Portugal is losing it’s middle class.

Hi tvdxer,

I taught this movie a couple times in my Cultural Studies class at the last boarding school at which I worked. It is a harrowing, heartbreaking film with Shakespearean tragedy on a gory level. That said, it also contains poignant moments of fellowship, beauty, and humor.

It is not for kids – and I taught it only to seniors who’d been properly prepped. There is a scene in which a child is murdered, for instance.

From a production perspective the film is brilliantly done. Narrative, lighting, directing – there’s something to teach in each of these areas.

Aside from production, the film’s greatest asset is its ability to enlighten, to which WH1988 refers – social commentary at its most fundamental.

i saw it when it was out in the theaters a few years ago. it had a very long run in manhattan (over two months, from what i remember).

it might have some redeeming characteristics like an interesting plot and memorable characters but i wouldn’t watch it again and i would only recommend it with strong reservations because of the sickening violence. i felt it was very much in the exploitative mode of a quentin tarantino.

like that director, the director of cidade de deus is very good at creating likable characters and then “snuffing” them in gruesome ways. it left me feeling that in the world of the movie (and probably in real life in that rio de janeiro slum) life was very cheap – so why cheapen it even more by making an entertainment out of it.

Just to let you all know I saw it right before I made this post. I was wondering about others’ reactions to it.

I personally thought it was mostly a well-executed movie, although the violence was very sickening at times - especially the scene with the child being shot in the foot, and then being forced to shoot another child. But I think it’s an attempt at realism. It definitely wasn’t a “relaxing” or “pleasant” movie, but not all movies should be that way.

but where is the movie’s heart? i classify it as an exploitation picture because of the way the “entertainment” value of the violence, drug use and casual sex so prevalent among the slum-dwellers ultimately overpowers whatever moral message the movie may claim to present.

those are values that are prevalent in the world of secular entertainment and work against the stated catholic affirmation of the dignity of human life.

:hmmm:Reading that passage brought to mind “Traffic” with Michael Douglas. I remember how popular that was at the time - winning 4 oscars out of 5 nominations. I didn’t care for the movie at all. It was depressing and didn’t have a point, really, except to state the obvious: drugs aren’t just for the economically deprived.

As for City of God, I’ve not seen it, nor am I inclined to, because it is so dark and ‘real’, I suppose. I tend to not care for movies like that. I want to be uplifted.

Though I do watch critically acclaimed films with somber themes to try to understand the attraction. Crash and Babel come to mind along those lines. Appreciated Crash, Babel could have been better had they not used particular camera angles which were not necessary to the plot. With certain scenes in them I couldn’t recommend it to high schoolers, and that is the generation we need to reach to initiate change in our society.

I disagree wholeheartedly.

I saw the film when it was in theaters. Loved it! Thought it had a totally engrossing theme which was extremely “real” (true to life), offering a glimpse into the actual slums, and enabled a positive morality to come through. Sin leads to death is what is said quite clearly. But there is hope in life, even amidst great darkness which overwhelms. Here is humanity.

It was by no means violence, sex, and drugs for its own sake, but came with a clear meaning and, indeed, “heart.”

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