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City of God [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Seu Jorge, Matheus Nachtergaele
  • Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
  • Producers: Andrea Barata Ribeiro
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 30 May 2011
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XBOG1G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,066 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Using street kids straight from the Cidade de Deus slum outside Rio de Janeiro, Fernando Meirelles' film is based on actual events that happened in the slum. The story, revealed by Buscape - a street kid who decides to become a photojournalist when he discovers he is not cut out to become a villain - revolves around the shadowy world of drugs and the violence which increases with each generation. Li'l Ze has grown up to become a natural-born-killer and attempt to take over the drugs trade of the city. However, this sparks a turf war which is photographed by Buscape, making the war famous.

From Amazon.co.uk

Like cinematic dynamite, City of God lights a fuse under its squalid Brazilian ghetto, and we're a captive audience to its violent explosion. The titular favela is home to a seething army of impoverished children who grow, over the film's ambitious 20-year time frame, into cut-throat killers, drug lords and feral survivors. In the vortex of this maelstrom is L'il Z (Leandro Firmino da Hora--like most of the cast, a non-professional actor), self-appointed king of the dealers, determined to eliminate all competition at the expense of his corrupted soul. With enough visual vitality and provocative substance to spark heated debate (and box-office gold) in Brazil, codirectors Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund tackle their subject head on, creating a portrait of youthful anarchy so appalling--and so authentically immediate--that City of God prompted reforms in socioeconomic policy. It's a bracing feat of stylistic audacity, borrowing from a dozen other films to form its own unique identity. You'll flinch, but you can't look away. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
PLEASE please please please don't let the fact that this film is subtitled for English put you off watching it as it did for my dad! I'm studying this film for my A2 film class at college, but aside from that it is an incredible film. It is thrilling, fast-paced and exiting. One of the directors of this film has experience in music videos, and the film has a similar feel to it with vibrant colour, quick cuts and a never faltering narrative. Highly recommend this!
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brilliant movie.
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All fine, no problems
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Brilliant brilliant film... i list it as my favourite of all time. The story line, the lay out, the cinematography, the acting is all fantastic! Dont let the subtitles put you off, it just pulls you in and you will not want to take your eyes off the screen so reading the subtitles isnt that difficult and it becomes easy to do so as you get more and more into the film. I saw this on cinema and i can not wait to get my dvd on it. I rarely watch films twice but this is one i could watch again and again it is so good!
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Format: DVD
The film itself is a classic, obviously- but the DVD, empty of the usual extras like commentary, has a truly superb, hour long documentary on the brazillian favellas and their evolution into permanent war zones, using interviews from the perspectives of drug dealers, (the heavily armed and corrupt) police, and the residents. This makes it clear that the film does not exaggerate- in fact judging by some of the chilling interviews here it might have toned down some of the violence. The terrible conditions seem to produce psychopath after psychopath, and police and rival gangs are locked into continuous spirals of killing and revenge. This extra adds real moral weight to the film- the slums are maintained to keep the underclasses under control, and death is early and meaningless. It is a world which normal human emotions penetrate little if at all. Perhaps this is why the directors used a sensationalist style in the film. It seems to fit the excitement and pride the real gang members are taught to feel in killing; you are left with the feeling that the stories need to be told as they were/ are experienced.
Unexpected and revealing.
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Format: Blu-ray
You can't fail to admire the sheer panache of the film-making here, and the control of a number of narrative strands, moving back and forth over time, is managed with absolute clarity, owing to the deft use of voice-over linking narration by "Rocket," the young man who becomes a journalistic photographer rather than a gang member because he has a sharp eye and no appetite for violence. On the other hand, though, this is a film about violence -- about a gang war for control of the drug business in the Rio de Janiero slum that gives the movie its title -- and, more troublingly, about the corruption of children in an environment where the order of life is controlled by lawless people. The narrator doesn't preach about that -- he just moves the story along -- and the success of the movie is that our appreciation of the sheer artistic boldness of the film-making doesn't get in the way of our horror at the situation. The film is anything but a mess -- at times, it's more like a dance -- but the chaos and damage of life in the slum don't seem prettified or minimized by the formal control of the film-making.

Rocket's escape from the violence is more a matter of luck than anything else, and he isn't presented as heroic. In fact, the sub-plot concerning his anxiety about losing his virginity makes him seem a bit lame, if anything. The violent characters are vivid figures rather than interesting characters, but they're still capable of engaging us. The morphing of L'il Dice into L'il Ze is chilling -- clearly a sociopath from the cradle -- and the hardening of the charming Knockout Ned into Ze's would-be nemesis is as close as the movie comes to tragic feeling. But minor characters are vivid and distinct too, especially Benny, Carrot, Goose, and the hopeless addict Tiago.
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Format: DVD
This is a very good film, in fact i would rate it 4 out of 5, It's about a slum in Rio de Janeiro called City of God.
It follows (primarily) the life of 2 boys Rocket and Li'l Dice (later to rename himself L'il Ze) from the late 60's to the early eighties (a period of about 14 years).
In the slums the only way to survive is to take menial low paid work, or become a hoodlum.
Both Rocket and Dice's older brothers are part of the terrible trio - notorious local hoodlums and robbers. Dice and Rocket are not friends though, merely acquainteneces in the same area
Rocket stays in school to study while L'il Dice joins his brother as a hood. We follow both as Rocket struggles
with relationships while Li'l Dice turns himself and his friend Bene (the coolest hood in the slums) into the most feared hoods.
L'il Ze (as he's now calling himself) decides to take over the local drug trade by killing off the dealers
and taking their territories. So he does and stops the robberies plaguing his area in the process, to further enhance his grip as "the boss"
Meanwhile Rocket dreams of being a photographer having the only camera amoung his group of friends. he starts work at a local
newspaper as an errand boy and works himself up. Chance brings them into contact later when Ze, desperate for
publicity to publicise his name in a war with another dealer gets Rocket to take his picture this catapults Ze to the limelight he desires and unwittingly gets Rocket his first real start as a photographer.
Naturally violence is never far away and the film is as much about how the very poor survive and the police corruption rife in Brazil and how this touches the lives of all good and bad.
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