Cidade de Deus or City of God is a Brazilian film that was released in 2002. Even though this was a foreign picture, this movie managed to get nominated for 4 academy awards in that year including for Best Director and Best Cinematography. Most people consider this movie as one of the best foreign movies of all time.
The movie starts when a group of people runs behind a chicken in order to catch it. Then the chicken comes in front of the narrator of the movie. His name is Rocket and he has a camera. At this moment, he starts to explain the story to the audience. He says that his brother was a gangster in City of God. He had two partners with him and one of them had a little brother named Li’l Dice. One day, they goes to rob a motel. It was Li’l Dice’s plan and he was the look out and while the others were robbing it, he signaled that the police are arriving.
While the others were fleeing away, Li’l Dice went to the motel and kills a bunch of people just for the thrill of it. At that time, he was only 10 years old. Because of this massacre, City of God started to flood with cops. They arrested a lot of people and killed some of them when they were suspects of the massacre.
After an incident with a lady, Rocket’s brother had to get out of City of God. While he was running, he sees Li’l Dice with his best friend Benny. They were doing great by their own. So Rocket’s brother takes their money simply because he was bigger than them. Then Li’l Dice shoots him and kills him. After that, he becomes one of the most respected gangsters in the city and he changes his name to Li’l Z.
He kills all his rivalries except for Carrot because he and Benny were friends. Rocket went to school all this time and he falls in love with a girl name Angelica. He wanted to impress her with his photography skills but she already had a boyfriend named Thaigo. But after a while, she breaks up with her and Rocket finally manages to kiss her. He always wanted to lose his virginity to her. After the breakup, Thaigo starts to use cocaine a lot and because of that, he becomes friends with Benny. Then he introduced benny to his gang and because of that, he becomes Angelica’s boyfriend.
Benny was the one who always kept Li’l Z in control. He wanted to kill Carrot but Benny managed to cool him down. But one day, one of Carrot’s goons tried to kill Li’l Z but instead, accidentally kills Benny. Then Li’l Z decides to go to war with Carrot. When he was on his way to kill Carrot, he sees a woman and rapes her in front of her boyfriend Knockout Ned. Then he lets Ned go instead of killing him. But then, he decides to go back and kill Ned. In this process Li’l Z and his gang kills Ned’s brother and uncle and shoots down his whole house.
Then when Ned was grieving over the incident, Carrot comes and hand him over a gun. At that time Ned had nothing to lose. So he goes on a killing spree to kill Li’l Z and his gang. It turns out that he was in the army and he was the best marksman in his barrack. But he couldn’t do it alone. So, Ned had no choice but to join Carrot’s gang so he would have backup to go to war with Li’l Z. Then City of God becomes a warzone for about a year. Then Knockout Ned gets caught by the police.
When the news and newspapers mentions Knockout Ned’s arrest and his pictures, Li’l Z becomes jealous of his publicity. So he wanted to publish his photos but he or anyone in his gang didn’t knew how to take a picture. At that time Thaigo was a member in Li’l Z’s gang. So he brings in Rocket to take a good picture of them. At that time, Rocket wanted to become a photographer for the local newspaper. So, after he took photos of Li’l Z and his gang, he goes in to the newspaper factory to develop the photo reel. But the newspaper accidently publishes those photos on their front page. Rocket thought that it would be the end of him but that was exactly what Li’l Z wanted in the first place.
Then Rocket gets an offer from the newspaper to be an official photographer. So he accepts it and goes to take more photos of Li’l Z. At that time he didn’t knew that Li’l Z liked him. Then the movie comes to the first scene. It was Li’l Z and his gang that was trying to catch that chicken. When he saw Li’l Z in front of that chicken, he tells him to take a photo of them. When he took the first photo, Knockout Ned and Carrot’s gang ambushed them. In that process Ned and Li’l Z gets killed and Rocket manages to get photos of the whole process. Then Rocket finishes telling the story to the audience and tells that he became a photographer
This movie has managed to capture the everyday violence in slums in Brazil. Cops didn’t cared about any of the murders that happened there because it happened in poor neighborhoods. This movie also managed to give the audience a sense of how people felt in City of God about killings and drugs.
I think that this movie is a masterpiece and even though the story was set in the 1960s and 1970s, it managed to give the audience a message that is suitable even for modern days. So I think this is a must watch movie for everyone who loves marvelous films.