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City of God (La cité de Dieu) [Blu-ray]


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City of God on Blu-ray

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Adapté d’un best-seller de Paulo Lins, tiré de faits réels, City of God est la première réalisation du tandem brésilien Katia Lund-Fernando Meirelles. Percutant et inventif, le film, co-produit par le cinéaste Walter Salles, confirme également la bonne santé du cinéma sud-américain.

Construite dans les années 60 dans la banlieue de Sao Paulo, la cité de Dieu est une favela gangrenée par la violence et le trafic de drogue. Sous les yeux de Fusée, gamin déterminé à se créer un avenir dans la photographie, la cité en expansion devient le terrain d’une guerre civile entre deux brigands, Petit Zé et Manu Tombeur, secondés par leurs gangs sans pitié.

Sorte de Scarface revisité par un Wong Kar Wai fan de samba, City of God est un film ambitieux, parfois choquant mais réellement solide. Retraçant avec une cohérence stylistique impressionnante l’histoire de la cité des années 60 à nos jours, il montre de près l’effondrement moral et social de toute une génération en proie à la pauvreté, à quelques kilomètres d’un Rio touristique de rêve. Sans concession, tirant profit d’images très dures pour susciter la réflexion, il a l’intelligence de ne pas glorifier la violence. Malgré quelques longueurs, mais dynamisé par une audace esthétique époustouflante, City of God est le fruit d’un réel talent de mise en scène et remplit avec justesse le rôle social que le cinéma peut avoir à jouer. – Helen Faradji. --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Alcat on Jan. 10 2007
Format: DVD
"City of God" ("Cidade de Deus") is the story of a boy, but also the story of a "favela" (Portuguese word with similar meaning to slum or shantytown) on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. That shantytown is called "Cidade de Deus". Throughout this extraordinary movie both the boy and the favela grow, albeit obviously in very different ways :)

The boy is Rocket (Buscap' in Portuguese, played by Alexandre Rodrigues), who is born in Cidade de Deus and grows up before our eyes living in it. He is quiet and easygoing, just a non-violent person seeking a way to survive in a brutal environment. Rocket ends up doing exactly that through his passion, photography, that ends up making him an intermediary between the local gangs and the press. He is also the narrator of this movie, the voice that accompanies us throughout many of the stories that "City of God" has to offer...

The other main character of "City of God" is the "city" itself, that starts merely as a couple of houses, but that grows immensely as years go by. The activities in which its inhabitants are involved also change, from petty robbery to organized crime that involves drug dealing and arms trafficking. We see Li'l Z' (Z' Pequeno in Portuguese, played by Leandro Frimino), one of the boys that used to play soccer with Rocket, grow up to become a murderer and a drug lord, someone that makes his own laws. The same happened with others, but Li'l Z' probably represents to most dangerous kind of sociopath that the favela can produce. Rocket and Li'l Z', same circumstances, different persons, different choices. Who says that where you lives determinates how you are and what you do?. This is an excellent example that that is not always the case...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "lilking101" on July 10 2004
Format: DVD
"City of God" is a masterpiece, quiete simply. I don't know the names of the actors, but they all distribute amazing performances. Lil Zee is probably one of the most terrifying villains in movie history, because you see how he begins his sadistic lifestyle and how it brutally ends. Rocket is a very important role too, because he tells the story. Don't be fooled, "City of God" isn't a gangster flick of an action movie. It's a dramatic portrayal of life in the slums from a different direction. Rocket deals with love, pain, betrayal, denial, and talent(he's a skilled photographer).
The scenes are haunting, but also beautiful in a way. The scenes are realistic. I won't give you the plot because you probably know what it's about if you're looking it up. Even though Lil Zee and Rocket are the two main characters, the supporting characters are very important. Carrot, one of the other druglords, and Benny, Lil Zee's best friend are both really well played performances
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ethan100 on July 8 2004
Format: DVD
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Even if you find most international films, well, kinda foreign, you've got to see City of God.
Because it's the film Quentin Tarantino can't make, because he reads comic books instead of the Economist, and holes up in his house watching infinitely forgettable B movies instead of travelling.
Because it finally scratches the itch that is Paul Thomas Anderson, turning the kinetic energy of Boogie Nights towards subject matter that's vastly more meaningful, turning irony into a political weapon instead of YET ANOTHER UNBELIEVABLY TIRESOME vehicle for snarky deadpan humor.
Because it exposes once and for all the central problem hiding beneath the stylized sight gags of every Cohen Brothers' film: those guys don't have much to say about really anything at all.
Because it blows the doors off the plodding, insular, overwritten plot twists of Memento and the Lord of the Rings with a fantastic and fathomlessly deep pool of memorable characters, Dickensian plot turns, action, sex, style, and meaning.
Because it seamlessly interweaves spectacle, plot and metaphor better than any film in recent memory, all in service to a story that's stunning whether or not you know the history.
Because the documentary extra on this disc is better than 95% of the punchless minutiae-obsessed documentaries that have dominated the Oscar nominations and made that whole category an irrelevant, pretentious bore.
Because it's a flat-out rocking ride.
Get this DVD.
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By A Customer on July 16 2004
Format: DVD
For those who think Rio isn't any worse than the likes of LA or any other US city,watch the DVD extra.Apart from that,Rio's murder rate in 1992 according to two reliable sources was 86 per 100,000 - a massive murder rate for a city of ten million(far more striking than Washington D.C. which was 80 per 100,000 in a city of 500,000).What that says is that Rio's worst parts dwarf D.C. or anywhere else in the states.There were some misleading claims in the film and DVD though, such as organized criminality(we are clearly dealing with common criminals here)and Rio being the most dangerous gangland on earth(possibly San Pedro Sula,Honduras and early 90's Bogota,Colombia - CERTAINLY Medellin - also Colombia,have worse areas). The thing that stood out from the film for me was the harrowing scene with the main gang cornering the two little kids - shocking and realistic.Rio is really like this and people need to see the staggering levels of common gang violence in Rio and throughout Latin America(more coverage of the problem in Colombia,Honduras and El Salvador would be welcome).To end I would like to pay tribute to the Brazilian people,they have to be some of the nicest people in the world yet put up with seriously dangerous situations.I have nothing but respect for their bravery.
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