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3.9 out of 5 stars16
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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A docu story about men and multiple binds of entrapment in poverty stricken life roles, forever being caught within dreams of ascending the top of a dung heap and then looking downwards. Within the urban sprawl of Rio, a one-way ticket out of poverty is peddling dope. To ensure optimum selling, having a few guns given to the soldiers and then shooting the rivals is a key requisite.

The film focuses on men, in particular the emotional impact of absent fathers and the adolescent dreams of trying to cement Humpty back into family life. Trouble is Humpty shattered into a thousand pieces and to stick him back takes more than glue. The central theme is about redemption and friendship overcoming all the nihilism. The problems the film highlights are the deadly impacts of poverty, as the life span of a gangster is very short. In some cases they do not get beyond 15. Meanwhile those at the top of the pile are forever trapped in mind paranoia, where betrayal by a best friend is forever hovering.

A stunning film about inter gang conflict, shot in multiple time frames highlighting the strength and fragility of human relationships, minute decisions, their importance and how men who have just shed being boys, become embedded within a culture of violence as an expected norm, then it details how they all escape their collective pasts. The world turns into a rattle of bullets.

The dialogue is swift, the acting brutally real, the action all too human whilst twisted into knots that become gut wrenching.

Another stunning film about the poverty of human life to be filed with La Haine.
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on 26 September 2012
There's absolutely nothing wrong with this film in what it seeks to portray, and would rate it even higher if I had not seen Ciudad de Dios and the incredible Central Station. Those latter films were incomparable in the force and feeling which they conveyed, and indeed this film is no slouch either. It's just that it doesn't quite hit the spot in the same way, or perhaps came a bit late to hit the same spot with the same impact.
That said, this is a very well acted and convincing depiction of the jungle youth that populate much of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. There is nothing left to the imagination in this searing drama about gang warfare among gun and machine gun toting teenagers who fight to establish their claim to some rocky terrain high above the famous Copacabana beach.
The story is well developed and the direction is well up to speed. The multiple flashbacks are shown in what has now become almost, de rigueur, desaturated colour, but none the worse for that.
All in all, this is a fine film and was well worth watching.
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on 28 August 2012
A captivating and superb film, amazingly acted and beautifully shot. The ongoing bleakness of the cycle of drug problems and gangs is never far away but this adds to the empathy I felt for the central characters and their plight. Heartily recommended +++++
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on 7 February 2009
Set in the favelas overlooking downtown Rio, this hardy tale of two friends going through a rite of passage is admirable in allowing us a glimpse of the harsh realities of life in the slums.

These failed communities, consisting of poverty, broken families and criminal gangs, are self perpetuating and our two lads (Ace and Wallace) have to make a choice between submitting to the favelan way of life or leaving.

Absent male role models is the main theme of this film and it delivers this strong message over in a thoroughly engaging way.

My only gripe was the difficulty in understanding who was who, which doesn't become apparent until at least half way through the film.

Other than that it shines.
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on 2 August 2015
Love this film and the one before. Nice quality pic, great price, it's not in English so it's subs all the way. I did not find this a problem and knew before I bought it that it was a brazillian sub's film.
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on 9 August 2011
A stark reality, well filmed, incredible inexperienced street kids as actors, Rio's dark side. Glad I hunted around for it.
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on 10 January 2015
Gift for someone so i havent seen the movie myself. The person said it was good but not as good as the city of god.
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on 24 December 2014
Good movie it seems like an extension of the earlier film City Of God but all the same a good movie
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on 2 April 2009
This is a good film but you are always going to compare it to City of God and it ain't up to that standard. Yet if you watch the film in its own right then it is a good a movie. It isn't as slick and intelligent as City of God and it doesn't run that smoothly as at times as it jumps from one thing to another but it is still decent and worth a purchase.
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on 22 April 2015
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