Monday, 29 September 2008

Cidade de Deus (The City of God)

I tend not to have the patience to watch a whole film in subtitles, but for Cidade de Deus (which translates from Portuguese, the language of the film, as ‘The City of God’) I will make an exception. Set in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cidade de Deus is the story of the Rio de Janero housing projects decent from relatively idyllic beginning in the 1960’s to a violent, cruel, poverty and crime ridden slum in the 1980’s and is told/narrated by resident and teenager ‘Rocket’ who unlike most of his friend and neighbours has aspirations of been a photographer, not a gangster (or hoodlum). The film is very fast paced and with editing and camera work that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Quentin Tarentino film. For me the best thing about the film is the intertwined story lines which cut back and fourth, allowing you to see how each of the characters is related to the others and history between each event. I also found it interesting when watching a the ‘making of’ documentary which came free on my DVD to find out that many of the cast where not professional actors but genuine residents of Rio de Janeiro’s slums and it is this which helps add real authenticity to the film.

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