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City of God
സംവിധാനംFernando Meirelles
Kátia Lund (co-director)
നിർമ്മാണംAndrea Barata Ribeiro
Mauricio Andrade Ramos
Elisa Tolomelli
Walter Salles
രചനPaulo Lins
Bráulio Mantovani
അഭിനേതാക്കൾAlexandre Rodrigues
Alice Braga
Leandro Firmino
Phellipe Haagensen
Douglas Silva
Jonathan Haagensen
Matheus Nachtergaele
Seu Jorge
Roberta Rodrigues
Graziella Moretto
സംഗീതംEd Cortês
Antonio Pinto
ഛായാഗ്രഹണംCésar Charlone
ചിത്രസംയോജനംDaniel Rezende
വിതരണംMiramax (USA)
Buena Vista International
സ്റ്റുഡിയോO2 Filmes
Globo Filmes
StudioCanal
Wild Bunch
റിലീസിങ് തീയതി
  • ഓഗസ്റ്റ് 30, 2002 (2002-08-30)
രാജ്യംBrazil
ഭാഷPortuguese
ബജറ്റ്R$ 8,5 million
സമയദൈർഘ്യം130 minutes
ആകെ$30,641,770

City of God (Portuguese: Cidade de Deus) is a Brazilian crime film directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-directed by Kátia Lund, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. It was adapted by Bráulio Mantovani from the 1997 novel of the same name written by Paulo Lins. It depicts the growth of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro, between the end of the '60s and the beginning of the '80s, with the closure of the film depicting the war between the drug dealer Li'l Zé and criminal Knockout Ned. The tagline is "Fight and you'll never survive... Run and you'll never escape."

The cast includes Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Jonathan Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Alice Braga and Seu Jorge. Most of the actors were, in fact, residents of favelas such as Vidigal and the Cidade de Deus itself.

The film received four Academy Award nominations in 2004: Best Cinematography (César Charlone), Best Directing (Meirelles), Best Editing (Daniel Rezende) and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) (Mantovani). Before that, in 2003 it had been chosen to be Brazil's runner for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but it was not nominated to be one of the five finalists.

Meirelles and Lund went on to create the City of Men TV series and film City of Men, which share some of the actors (notably leads Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha) and their setting with City of God.

Plot[തിരുത്തുക]

The movie begins depicting chickens being prepared for a meal. A chicken escapes and an armed gang chases after it. The chicken comes to a stop between the gang and a young man named Rocket (Buscapé), who believes that the gang wants to kill him. The timeline then flashes back to ten years earlier, as Rocket tells the story of how he got himself into that position.

Three thieves known as the "Tender Trio" (Trio Ternura)—Shaggy, Clipper, and Goose (Cabeleira, Alicate and Marreco)—are terrorizing local businesses with armed holdups; Goose is Rocket's brother. In Robin Hood fashion, they split part of the loot with the citizens of a favela called the City of God (Cidade de Deus), and are protected by them in return. Several younger boys idolise the trio and follow them around—one such hanger-on, known as Li'l Dice (Dadinho), convinces them to hold up a motel and rob its occupants. The gang agree but, resolving not to kill anyone, tell Li'l Dice that he is too young to accompany them and must serve as lookout. They give him a gun and tell him to fire a warning shot if the police arrive. Unsatisfied with this, Li'l Dice fires a warning shot mid-robbery and proceeds to fulfill his bloodlust by slaughtering all the inhabitants of the motel once the gang have run off. The massacre brings on the attention of the police, forcing the Tender Trio to leave the slum. Clipper joins the church, and Shaggy is shot by the police while trying to escape with his girlfriend. Goose is shot by Li'l Dice after attempting to rob the younger boy and his friend Benny (Bené), who both have been hiding out and committing crimes on their own since the motel incident.

The timeline jumps forward a number of years. Rocket has become a part of the "Groovies", a hippie-like group of youths that enjoy smoking marijuana. He develops an interest in photography by taking pictures of his friends, especially one girl that he is infatuated with, but his attempts to get close to her are ruined by a group of younger troublemakers known as "The Runts" (Caixa Baixa, "Low Gang"). Li'l Dice now calls himself "Li'l Zé" ("Zé Pequeno"), and along with his childhood friend Benny has established a drug empire by eliminating all of the competition—except for one dealer named Carrot.

A relative peace has come over the City of God under the reign of Li'l Zé, who avoids the police's attention by accosting and having his henchmen kill one of the Runts, who had been committing petty crimes in the area. Zé plans to kill his last rival, Carrot, but is stopped by Benny, who is a friend of Carrot's. Eventually, along with the girl that he has wooed away from Rocket, Benny decides to leave the criminal life behind to live on a farm and throws a farewell party. Zé, unable to find a girl who will dance with him at the party, humiliates a peace-loving man named Knockout Ned (Mané Galinha). Later, Benny is gunned down by a former drug dealer, Neguinho, who was aiming for Zé. Benny was the only man holding Li'l Zé back from taking over Carrot's (Cenoura) business. His death leaves Zé in danger and Carrot in fear.

Following Benny's death, Zé rapes Ned's girlfriend, then kills his uncle and younger brother. Ned, looking for revenge, sides with Carrot. After Ned kills one of Li'l Zé's men and wounds Zé himself, a war breaks out between the two rival factions that engulfs the whole of the Cidade de Deus. Both sides enlist more and more "soldiers", with Zé providing weapons for the Runts on the condition that they will fight for him. Jealous of Ned's notoriety in the newspapers, Zé has Rocket take photos of him and his gang. Unknown to Rocket, a reporter decides to publish the developed prints in the daily paper. Rocket then fears for his life, mistakenly believing that Zé will want to kill him, although Zé is actually very pleased with his increased notoriety.

The story has come around full circle to the start of the movie. Confronted by the gang, Rocket is surprised that Zé is asking him to take a picture of the gang. Just as Rocket prepares to take the photograph, however, Carrot arrives and a gunfight ensues between the two gangs, and later the police. Ned is killed by a boy who has infiltrated his gang to avenge his father, who was killed in an earlier scene by Ned during a bank robbery. Li'l Zé and Carrot are arrested and Carrot is taken away to be paraded in front of the press. Zé is shaken down for money, humiliated, and finally released, all while being secretly photographed by Rocket. After the police officers leave, the Runts surround Zé and murder him in retribution for having killed one of their friends earlier in the movie. Rocket takes pictures of Zé's dead body and goes to the newspaper.

Rocket is seen in the newspaper office looking at all of his photographs through a magnifying glass, and deciding whether or not to put the pictures of the crooked police officers in the newspaper, or the picture of Zé's dead body. The photos of the cops would make him famous but put him in danger, while the photos of Li'l Zé would guarantee him a job at the paper. He decides to take the safe route, and the newspaper runs his picture of Zé's bullet-ridden corpse.

The story ends with the Runts walking around the City of God, making a hit list of the dealers they plan to kill in order to take over the drug business. They mention that a Comando Vermelho ("Red Command") is coming.

Cast[തിരുത്തുക]

Many characters are known only by nicknames. The literal translation of these nicknames is given next to their original Portuguese name; the names given in English subtitles are sometimes different.

Name Actor(s) Name in English subtitles Description
Buscapé ("firecracker") Alexandre Rodrigues (adult)
Luis Otávio (child)
Rocket The main narrator and protagonist. A quiet, honest boy who dreams of becoming a photographer, and the only character who seems to keep from being dragged down into corruption and murder during the gang wars.
Zé Pequeno ("Little José")
childhood: Dadinho ("Eddie")
Leandro Firmino da Hora (adult)
Douglas Silva (child)
Li'l Zé
Li'l Dice
An ultra-violent, psychopathic drug dealer who goes over dead bodies to fulfill his goals. He is deeply insecure with women. When his only friend, Benny, is struck by fate, it drives him over the edge. The fact that he becomes Zé Pequeno as an adult suggests that his Christian name is José Eduardo. is an abbreviation for José, while pequeno means "little".
Bené Phellipe Haagensen (adult)
Michel de Souza (child)
Benny Zé's longtime partner in crime, he is a friendly City of God drug dealer, a charismatic and philanthropic criminal who wants to become honest.
Sandro, nicknamed Cenoura ("carrot") Matheus Nachtergaele Carrot A smaller-scale drug dealer who is friendly with Benny but is constantly threatened by Zé.
Mané Galinha ("Mané the Chicken") Seu Jorge Knockout Ned A good-looking ladies' man with a beautiful girlfriend. When his girlfriend attracts Zé's eye, Zé rapes her and then proceeds to massacre several members of Ned's family. In retaliation, Ned and Carrot join forces. His name was changed for the English subtitles because in English, "chicken" is a term for a coward.
Cabeleira ("hairy") Jonathan Haagensen Shaggy Leader of the Tender Trio, a group of thieves who share their profit with the population of the City of God.
Marreco ("duck") Renato de Souza Goose One of the Trio Tendura, and Rocket's brother.
Alicate ("pliers") Jefechander Suplino Clipper One of the Trio Tendura. Later gives up crime and joins the church.
Barbantinho ("beardy") Edson Oliveira (adult)
Emerson Gomes (child)
Stringy Childhood friend of Rocket.
Angélica Alice Braga Angélica An old friend and love interest of Rocket, and later Benny's girlfriend, who motivates him to abandon the criminal life.
Tiago Daniel Zettel Tiago Angélica's redheaded first boyfriend, later became Li'l Zé's associate who develops an addiction to drugs.
Filé com Fritas ("steak with fries") Darlan Cunha Steak with Fries A young drug addict hired by Zé's gang.
Charles, nicknamed Tio Sam ("Uncle Sam") Charles Paraventi Charles / Uncle Sam A weapons dealer.
Marina Cintra Graziella Moretto Marina Cintra A journalist for Jornal do Brasil, who hires Rocket as a photographer.
Touro ("bull") Luiz Carlos Ribeiro Seixas Touro A corrupt police officer.
Cabeção ("big head") Maurício Marques Cabeção A corrupt police officer.
Lampião Thiago Martins Thiago Martins Child leader of the Runts gang
Marcos Junqueira Otávio Marcos Junqueira Child leader of the Runts gang

Production background[തിരുത്തുക]

On the City of God bonus DVD, it is revealed that the only professional actor with years of filming experience was Matheus Nachtergaele, who played the supporting role of Carrot.[1] Most of the remaining cast were from real-life favelas, and in some cases, even the real-life City of God favela itself. From initially about 2000, about a hundred children and youths were hand-picked and placed into an "actors' workshop" for several months.[1] In contrast to more traditional methods (e.g. studying theatre and rehearsing), it focused on simulating authentic street war scenes, such as a hold-up, a scuffle, a shoot-out etc. A lot came from improvisation, as it was thought better to create an authentic, gritty atmosphere. This way, the inexperienced cast soon learned to move and act naturally.[1]

Prior to City of God, the directors Lund and Meirelles filmed a short film Golden Gate as a sort of test run.[1] Only after then was the casting for City of God finalized[അവലംബം ആവശ്യമാണ്]. The most remarkable choice was Leandro da Hora as "Li'l" Zé Pequeno, as da Hora was unanimously described as a quiet, uncomplicated soul, but now played the most psychotic, ultra-violent drug dealer in the City of God.[1] Da Hora himself describes his character as "pretty unbalanced, greedy and acted without thinking in everything he did... I see him like a normal person, but someone who through the ironies of destiny took a wrong turn somewhere."[1]

Appropriately, the film ends eavesdropping on the machinations of the "Runts" as they assemble their death list. The real gang "Caixa Baixa" (Low Gang) is rumored to have composed such a list.

After filming, the crew could not leave the cast to return to their old lives in the favelas. Help groups were set up to help those involved in the production to build more promising futures.

Reception[തിരുത്തുക]

Public acclaim[തിരുത്തുക]

The film was screened out of competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[2] In Brazil, City of God garnered the largest audience for a domestic film in 2002, with over 3.1 million tickets sold, and a gross of 18.6 million reals ($10.3 million).[3] The film also grossed over 7 million dollars in the U.S. and over 27 million worldwide.[4]

Critical acclaim[തിരുത്തുക]

City of God received impressive positive acclaim from major publications in the United States, gathering 92% of favourable reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] Empire chose it as the 177th best film of all time in 2008,[6] and Time chose it as one of the 100 greatest movies of all time.[7] Critic Roger Ebert gave the film a four-star review, writing "'City of God' churns with furious energy as it plunges into the story of the slum gangs of Rio de Janeiro. Breathtaking and terrifying, urgently involved with its characters, it announces a new director of great gifts and passions: Fernando Meirelles. Remember the name. The film has been compared with Scorsese's "GoodFellas," and it deserves the comparison. Scorsese's film began with a narrator who said that for as long as he could remember he wanted to be a gangster. The narrator of this film seems to have had no other choice."[8]

In the UK it was ranked 3rd in Film4's "50 Films to See Before You Die".

Ranked #7 in Empire magazines "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010.[9]

Also ranked #6 of the 25 best action movies ever in "'The Guardian".[10]

Top ten lists[തിരുത്തുക]

The film appeared on several American critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2003.[11]

Awards and nominations[തിരുത്തുക]

According to the Internet Movie Database,[12] City of God won fifty-five awards and received another twenty-nine nominations. Among those:

Academy Awards

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

BAFTA Film Awards

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

  • Won: Best Foreign Language Film

Golden Globe Awards

Independent Spirit Awards

  • Nominated: Best Foreign Language Film

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards

  • Won: Best Foreign Language Film

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Satellite Awards

  • Won: Best Foreign Language Film

Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards

  • Won: Best Foreign Language Film

Toronto Film Critics Association Awards

  • Won: Best Foreign Language Film

Toronto International Film Festival

  • Won: Visions Award – Special Citation

Music[തിരുത്തുക]

The score to the film composed by Antonio Pinto and Ed Córtes. It was followed by two Remix albums. Songs from the film:

References[തിരുത്തുക]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 City of God DVD extras
  2. "Festival de Cannes: City of God". festival-cannes.com. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 2009-11-01.
  3. "Informe 269" (PDF) (ഭാഷ: പോർച്ചുഗീസ്). Filme B.
  4. City of God at Box Office Mojo.
  5. City of God at Rotten Tomatoes.
  6. The 500 Greatest Movies of All-Time: 184–175, Empire
  7. "City of God – ALL-TIME 100 movies". Time.com. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 2010-03-30.
  8. "City of God (2002)". Chicago Sun-Times. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 28 April 2010.
  9. "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema". Empire. Text " 7. City of God " ignored (help)
  10. "City of God: No 6 best action movie and war film of all time". The Guardian. Text " Film " ignored (help); Text " The Guardian " ignored (help)
  11. "Metacritic: 2003 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. മൂലതാളിൽ നിന്നും 2007-12-25-ന് ആർക്കൈവ് ചെയ്തത്. ശേഖരിച്ചത് 2008-01-05.
  12. Awards and nominations for City of God at the Internet Movie Database.

External links[തിരുത്തുക]

{{Fernando Meirelles}}

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