Latin America Solidarity Centre

City of God

The film chosen for this week is “City of God’, directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lundelles. Based on a true story, this movie follows the paths of two boys named Rocket and José “Zé” Pequeno. Rocket, an aspiring young photographer, who tries to avoid a life of crime and drugs. While Zé does whatever it takes to be on top and uses the harsh pictures captured by Rocket to promote his reign. Following the backstories of each main character, this film shows how the years of violence in this area came about and how they continued to grow on each other.  This movie does an excellent job showing the extreme violence and brutality the favelas, or slums, of Rio de Janeiro, faced in the 60s through the 80s. It shows the start of violence in the 60s and the continuation of this violence in the younger generations of boys to follow. This film showed the hard-hitting scenes that depicted life at that time, making me both uncomfortable and unable to turn away. The intensity of the movie and how it made me feel is not something I will soon forget. If you are interested in learning more about this movie and the actors, I suggest you watch “City of God – 10 years Later”, streamed on Netflix as well as the original film. It follows the lives of the actors ten years later and gives some more insight into the actual events compared with the movie. “City of God” was unprecedented in the Brazilian film industry, amassing many prestigious awards and nominations from all over the world. Overall, I feel this is an important and hard-hitting film, giving a brief look into what life was like for those living in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.


What about you? Did you see the movie? Did you enjoy it? What movies do you recommend to continue learning about Brazil?