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4.7 out of 5 stars103
4.7 out of 5 stars
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 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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on July 11, 2004
This movie was unbelieveable. If you liked Amores Perros or Requiem for a Dream, I would recommend this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2004
City of God is certainly one of the most exceptional foreign language films in movie history! The movie excels in every level. The captivating camera shots make a truly fascinating cinematography. Editing was brilliantly done with some Pulp Fiction influence added into it. No single actor's performance particulary outshine the most, but the ensemble performance, from the street kids to the crime masterminds, is remarkably convincing! The screenwriter made the story so suspenseful, bold and daring, that you would not want to miss a single scene. And the truly best aspect of the movie is its ingenious filmmaking. Watch out for the "apartment scene" where the genius director shows how one small apartment drastically transforms as its inahabitants change through the years.
I would not recommend the film though to people with a weak stomach. I must admit that watching this film was pretty difficult to me because i have no experience of residing in the slums or what other people calls "the ghetto." Everything might come extremely shocking if you are not aware of the reality drug trades and gang wars. There are very graphic violent scenes so watch it at your own risk.
I would recommend it though to people who wants to see something honest, bold and dare. It is one of the, or probably the, most brutally honest film you will ever see! What this film achieved is boldness, directness, and honest filmmaking at its finest!
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on August 9, 2015
Oh wow.. what a movie, this is beyond incredible,
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2004
I recently picked this video up from Borders on the way home from work and had a group of friends come over to watch it. I was really excited b/c the hype on this movie was huge. Every five minutes for he last two months people have been coming into the store and asking if it's out on DVD yet. Two out of six people that came over liked it.
I can only say that watching this movie is like going to a bad party where you meet a lot of people but don't get to know anyone very well. The party may be for some sympathetic cause like saving the environment or helping the homeless, but the people only talk to you about the cause. They berate you with cliche after cliche about how bad the environment is, stuff you've already heard before, then they go into how the destruction of the environment is indicative of some fault in humanities behavioral program, and as much as you agree and entreat them to tell you about themselves so you can relate to them as a person, they just stare you in the face and repeat statistics about the reality of industrialization. You leave the party with no new friends and the feeling that you weren't informed and that the people at the party aren't going to accomplish anything about the environment.
The director of the City of God threw this bad party. He introduces alot of potentially interesting characters and then immediately turns them into the same, faceless, evil hoodlum killer who gets killed by the same sword they lived by. You don't get to know anybody and the information extant in the film piece is hammered into you in the first half hour. This film has no entertainment value and ceases to be informative after the first 45 minutes. It has no entertainment value because you know what will happen to every character and every subsequent character is more empty than the first. It ceases to be informative because it repeats the themes established in the first half hour. Everybody knows that if you give little kids guns, indiscriminate killing will ensue. Everybody knows that people in ghettos all over the world turn to drugs to try and get back at society and/or get out of the slums. the error in this film is that it doesn't go beyond these premises and show us that these slums are geographically placed next to the richest areas of Rio in order to service the middle and upper classes with drugs, that there is a murder in Rio every half hour, that all the chic guns in Rio are supplied by foreign manufactures, that the cops are corrupt, that there is no way out of the ghetto if you are born there because of lack of education, that none of the dealers, despite trying to organize in the late eighties, actually made enough money to get out of the ghetto, that the dealers kept corrupt cops at bay, that basically this situation was created and tolerated by a large city turned evil by drugs, corruption and greed. The directors ambitions for this film are small and because of that you get a small movie with little character and a hellva lot of gunshots and flesh wounds. The special feature documentary is better than the movie just as the doc "Wad" is better than the movie wonderland. Also the director is Brazil's most successful director of commercials, so in my mind that decreases his credibility and makes me think that he secretly wanted people to be entertained by his depiction of gradiose violence and death.
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on August 1, 2014
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on February 12, 2015
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2008
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.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2004
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2004
i'm sorry, i just don't see a masterpiece here. even though all these poor children are murdered, in a world that doesn't care, the character developement in this movie was so poor that in the end, i didn't care either. this film might as well be a documentary because it makes little use of the power of art to incite our emotions. it did convey a feeling of hopelessness i guess and maybe that was the point, but it could have done so much more.
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