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City of God (2002)

Cidade de Deus (original title)
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Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors:

, (co-director)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Popularity
490 ( 24)
Top Rated Movies #21 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Zé Pequeno - Li'l Zé (as Leandro Firmino da Hora)
Phellipe Haagensen ...
...
...
Matheus Nachtergaele ...
...
Mané Galinha - Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino ...
Alicate - Clipper
...
Emerson Gomes ...
Barbantinho - Stringy
Edson Oliveira ...
Michel de Souza ...
Bené Criança - Young Benny (as Michel De Souza Gomes)
Roberta Rodrigues ...
Luis Otávio ...
Maurício Marques ...
Cabeção - Melonhead
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Storyline

Brazil, 1960s, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970s: Li'l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980s: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jeffmellinger@astound.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

15 miles from paradise...one man will do anything to tell the world everything. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, sexuality, drug content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City of God  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$541,996 (Brazil), 30 August 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$114,442, 19 January 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,563,397, 20 June 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,062,482, 6 November 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two main actors, Alexandre Rodrigues ("Buscapé") and Leandro Firmino ("Zé Pequeno"), were given the option to to get paid R$10,000 (about US $3,000) up-front or to take percentage of the box office. Having no idea how successful the film would be, they chose up-front payment. Even if they were only getting 1% of the box office, it would have been 25 times more than what they got. See more »

Goofs

Whenever Tio Sam is in the apartment to sell Ze Pequeno the weapons, he inquires whether or not Ze has seen a mini Ruger, which is the same caliber of an M-16, inaccessible in Brazil. Ze shows no interest or knowledge of the Ruger, though he is shown holding up one just like it whenever Buscape is taking photos of the gang. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Zé Pequeno: Whoa, the chicken ran away. Get that chicken, dude!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits there is shown actual real-life footage of the real Mané Galinha, or Knockout-Ned as he is translated into in the American version of the film. This is in fact the same TV interview we see constructed in the film, and we can see that the filmmakers have copied this TV interview down to the smallest detail. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Teste de Elenco (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

So Very Hard to Go
Written by Emilio Castillo / Stephen M. Coppock
Performed by Tower of Power
Bob-a-Lew Music / Arika Music
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best unseen foreign films
30 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

I have seen this movie only recently (2005) and it's easily one of the better foreign films I have seen. Actually, it's probably just about one of the best films I had ever seen.

The characters really make this movie come alive with each of their compelling personalities shining though in the backdrop of oppressive conditions and constant violence. One thing which clearly comes to mind is "Lil' Dice's" ear to ear smile - so vivid and yet so ironic since he personifies pure evil.

The City of God is a world you don't want to visit, it won't be featured on a post card, and it's said to be the city ignored by god himself. This movie makes you feel uncomfortable, puts you on the edge of your seat -- you are right into the middle of the City and you too are caught up in it's violent temptation. More importantly, it's about the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.

This movie in effect is fast paced and hard to follow (with the added stress of subtitles over Portuguese), but it's worth it; and in fact really adds to the impetuous and impulsive undertones of the movie. In addition, the quintessential Brazilian music blending into the film like a well made Caprahina makes it feel authentic like the Italian music in the God Father.

You see the flaws of these men played out in an almost fatalistic nature -- hated, greed, futility; and in it all we see ourselves, our own flaws, and our own condition.


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