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

Alexandre Rodrigues , Matheus Nachtergaele , Fernando Meirelles , Kátia Lund    Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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City of God (La cité de Dieu) [Blu-ray] + Shawshank Redemption (Bilingual) [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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeking to survive in a brutal environment... Jan. 10 2007
By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"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
"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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4.0 out of 5 stars 4 star movie 5 star bonus documentary Aug. 7 2004
CITY OF GOD does pay off in the end but I think that the bonus documentary has more relevant meaning to it. But the movie is a TOUR DE FORCE of CINEMA no doubt about that. It is very much a GOODFELLAS/CASINO of the flavellas.
The superb documentary contained on this disc in the special features section explains far more the political dimensions of the subject.
One thing that is not explained in either the movie or the documentary is the origins of the 1964 Coup that over-turned Brazilian democracy and saw a fascist junta come to power.
That event was the fruition of a plan and a policy conceived and insisted upon by John F Kennedy though the Hollywood JFK mythology machine does not want to "go there" or you to know it.
Kennedy was an ardent supporters of neo-nazis across the Third World from Indonesia to Iraq to Brazil. Though his plan for Brazil did not come to a full fruition until after his assassination the plan was very much Kennedy's and all the key people Rusk. McNamara etc were still in power.
In theory Brazil should be a 1st World rich country it has all the resources. They now have the first decent President in their history. But he has forty years of interferance from the North and a culture of brutality to over-come.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic Side Of A Great People July 16 2004
By A Customer
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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by brian sousa
2.0 out of 5 stars BLUE-RAY isnt working...
The DVD isn't working, it lags every few minutes and the screen freezes, I have tried using 2 different blue ray player as well as a PS3 and it does the same thing on all the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Felix-Antoine Morisset
2.0 out of 5 stars WARNING - Blu-ray wrong lenguages information on back cover
Hello, the blu-ray edition don't have SPANISH subtitles, like you can read at the back cover.

The video quality is regular, you can choose English or French subtitles... Read more
Published on March 10 2011 by Juan Mabromata
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Movies Ever
Seriously. Check out the reviews here on Amazon, IMDB (top 20), or wherever they sell this film. That's a masterpiece. And what they show in the movie is real. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2010 by Dante Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Transfer Of A Great Movie
I won't comment about the movie itself, but rather the film transfer & blu-ray presentation by Alliance.... Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2010 by kyle g.
5.0 out of 5 stars True tragic masterpiece
This true movie will shock all the way trough this rough and blessing story. And show how mean can be the men in theyre path to accomplishement.
Published on Sept. 9 2008 by Felix Antoine Coutu
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern day film makers should question their work.
Though filled with dizzying violence and brutality (things I usually frown upon in films) City of God is one of the best films I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2004 by Antonio Giusto
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY AMAZING
I thinks its one of the best films I've ever seen. I don't think you will ever see something as amazing as this film. It left me speechless. Read more
Published on July 26 2004 by Vara Kulasingam
5.0 out of 5 stars A Frightening, yet Uplifting Masterpiece
City of God is disturbing. It gave me chills seeing coked up juvenile kids putting bullets through other kids' heads, and a ghetto neighorhood which offers no hope whatsoever to... Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by S. Sommerville
5.0 out of 5 stars The Documentary Included on the DVD is just as good
This movie is excellent, in every way. What is so good about this DVD is that it comes with a documentary in the special features that is one of the best I've ever seen. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Pearse O'Sullivan
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