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City of God


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva
  • Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
  • Writers: Bráulio Mantovani, Paulo Lins
  • Producers: Andrea Barata Ribeiro, Bel Berlinck, Daniel Filho, Donald Ranvaud
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax Films
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (724 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000D9PNX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,473 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "City of God" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "News From a Personal War" documentary

Editorial Reviews

Celebrated with worldwide acclaim, this powerful true story of crime and redemption has won numerous prestigious awards around the globe! The streets of the world's most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro's "City of God," are a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go, and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. In the midst of the oppressive crime and violence, a frail and scared young boy will grow up to discover that he can view the harsh realities of his surroundings with a different eye: the eye of an artist. In the face of impossible odds, his brave ambition to become a professional photographer becomes a window into his world ... and ultimately his way out!

Customer Reviews

Keep that in mind when your watching this movie and you will realize that this is as good as it gets.
Vara Kulasingam
Exploding on the screen with color, violence and a great story, this Brazilian film captures the essence of life in the City of God, a slum of Rio de Janeiro.
Linda Linguvic
"City of God" shows the life as it is not only in Brazil, but everywhere else in the world, including our very own country.
Tyler Durden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2003
Exploding on the screen with color, violence and a great story, this Brazilian film captures the essence of life in the City of God, a slum of Rio de Janeiro. Based on a true story of a young man who somehow escaped the preordained fate of his companions by becoming a photographer, the director, Fernando Meirelles, uses every modern technique to achieve his razor-sharp scenes of drugs, murders and non-stop violence that spins out of control and just keeps going.
The frantic energy of the film and fascinating story kept me at the edge of my seat, as a voice-over narration that moved backwards and forward in time, held the story together. All of a sudden, a detail would be revealed that explained something that happened in the past, and, like an electric shock, my grasp of the story would move to even deeper levels. There was little time to ponder it all though, because I was so caught up in what was happening on the screen that it was only later that I could appreciate the brilliance.
We watch several young boys grow into teenagers, tentatively experiencing the world of girls and drugs and guns and murders and crime. There's upbeat samba music throughout, and brilliant colors and blood. There's horrific violence, and also fine moments of humor and humanity. All together it just picked me up and plunked me down right into the middle of this world which made me hold my breath and live on the edge with the more than 200 non-professional actors who were recruited for this film. The sense of place is amazing. And the acting was more than just acting. It was real. And it was also one of the most creative films I've ever seen. Bravo to the filmmakers! I give "City of God" my highest recommendation.
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122 of 130 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Alcat on April 30, 2005
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 (Buscapé 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 Zé (Zé 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 Zé probably represents to most dangerous kind of sociopath that the favela can produce. Rocket and Li'l Zé, 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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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By J R Zullo on February 11, 2003
More than a regular movie, "Cidade de Deus" is an experiment in filmmaking. With only one or two exceptions, all the actors were residents of the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of the same name of the movie. They were all exhaustingly auditioned and trained to participate on the movie with the best and greatest authenticity they could manage. That's what make "Cidade de Deus" so unique. It's an authentic movie, with an authentic story and authentic characters.
The story is about the people of "Cidade de Deus", a poor neighborhood built far from the ellegant and glamourous center of Rio de Janeiro of the sixties, built for and by poor families who were later to live there. Of course, during the next decades, The city of Rio de Janeiro englobed Cidade de Deus, and suddenly the poor families were not so far away from the rich zones of the town. Through the years, we follow the life story of some local kids, from utter poverty to immense richness from the traffic of narcotics. We also follow their own destruction in the form of war between rival traffic gangs.
Fernando Meirelles was able to transmit, in fast paced rhythms and camera movements, the struggle for power and freedom in the poor suburb. He was also able to mantain the local people-turned-actors authenticity and liberty of acting. There are some strong scenes that leave the spectator mesmerized by their violence and reality.
I just hope that the guy/team responsible for the subtitles in english, or in any other language, was someone with an enormous knowledge of portuguese, because the dialogue and constant use of slang (yours truly, a native brazilian, had some hard time in understanding the meaning of some words used in the dialogues) are, alone, amazing aspects of the movie.
One of the best enterteinment I ever had.
Grade 9.6/10
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City of God English Version?
I agree with you fully. I was watched many foreign movies with sub-titles but this movie should NOT be burdened by sub-titles which divert your attention away from the action in this powerful filem
Jan 27, 2014 by Daddyo |  See all 5 posts
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