OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

City Of God

Cidade de Deus

Must-See Cinema! A stylistic tour de force from Brazil!

City Of God poster artDrawn from fact and cast with real kids from the slums of a favela (government-built housing project) outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles’s astounding City Of God presents a world of gangsters in grade school who aspire to become killers the way other kids dream of being astronauts or cowboys.

Spanning three decades in two hours that stream by like 20 minutes, we are introduced to three young hoodlums in the ’60s and follow them as they go their various ways through the ’80s until a full-fledged gang war erupts and brings them together. Shot with a cinéma vérité roaming camera technique, this is fiction with documentary weight, filled with shooting and killings. It’s not for someone seeking light entertainment or easy answers to social ills, but is required viewing for those seeking understanding about how violence begets violence and how the seed of aggression can so easily be implanted by placing a weapon in the hands of a child.
 
– Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

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