CityofGod1TN08-07-13“It was like a message from God: “Honesty doesn’t pay, sucker.”

If you’re bored this summer and have always wondered how people sustain influence over other people with guns, money, sex, and drugs; (then you might want to read the news or…) check out Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s 2002 masterpiece, City of God. It was based on the literary genius of Paulo Lins (who wrote the 1997 novel, City of God). The Academy Award winning film boasts a cast of characters who provide a realistic glimpse into the slums of Rio de Janeiro known as Citade de Deus. Raw talent, non-linear storytelling, and beautiful cinematography all in one film, only a few films like this are made every decade.

The Cast
The vast majority of the characters are not professional actors. For example, Leandro Firmino who plays Ze Pequeno, is actually from Citade de Deus and had no intention of being an actor before accompanying his friend to the film’s audition. The directors made the decision to cast real Citade de Deus residents to bring authenticity and real emotion to the film which has kept audiences roaring for years.

The Storytelling
The plot unfolds in sporadic flashes of light and gunshots. It’s complex without being too perplexing. Some scenes are so violently disturbing that you can’t take your eyes off the screen. It’s like riding the Spinner at a carnival without wanting to vomit after. Plus, it’s based on a true story.

The Cinematography
Each frame illuminates the exotic landscapes of Brazil. The settings of each scene are breathtaking characters in themselves.

Check this film out!

*Photo via: DVD Times