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City of God Analysis - Essay Example

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The Brazilian film, City of God, released in 2002 was the story of youth and their existential realities in the crime-ridden urban slums of Rio de Janeiro. Life in an urban slum of this city has come alive with all its nuances, colors, dirt and drama in the film…
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City of God Analysis
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City of God Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... From the beginning to the end of the film, the characters are trapped in their own destinies, only with the difference that it is not determined by God but by the corrupt and insensitive rulers of their country. It is reminded by each frame of the film that there is not even a speck of dignity in the life the slum dwellers live as they lack education as well as social and economic provisions to attain it. By raising the question, “when is a movie great?”, Thomson (year) has stressed the power of realism and the mundane in movies (p.39). He (Thomson, year) has stricken a cord with the real element of success of a film by establishing that a really great film need not have so-called 'serious' content but only need to have the ability to touch the heart and emotions of the viewers. In the film, City of God, also, it is the silly incident of a chicken running away from being butchered and being chased by gangsters that stands as one among the most impressive scenes. The film through its depiction of life and crime in the urban slums, has proven enough that there is no meaning in violence. This can be seen as the great role realism plays in making the art of film a social vehicle, as Thomson (year) said- “the idea of wanting to be there and believing the screened world was real or fit to be shared imaginatively” (p.38). In the case of this particular film, this observation can be re-worded as the idea of not wanting to be there and also sharing the anguish to make a difference in the world as members of the society. From the opening scene itself, the film has made clear that the events were happening in an urban slum. This is realized through showing the tin roofs and dirty walls of the dwellings as well as the chaotic and raw interactions of the people. The presence of forest is always there in the backyard of the slum, reminding the greenery that once might have supported the livelihood of the slum dwellers. After the motel shoot out, when two gangster youth hide inside the forest, one of them is seen expressing his wish to leave the life of the gangster. There are also many other similar incidents in the film. Thus the image of slum evolves into a political statement that questions the status quo involved. Another aspect of the use of images of slum and its physical settings in this Brazilian film is the identification that an individual in a developing world would feel with the life in this film. When the youth gang, the triad, was looting the motel, a woman inside the motel could be heard asking them why they were not studying, and she was reminding them that they were still kids. The next moment, youngest kid of the gang, Li'l Dice, has shot the people inside the motel, including the woman, giving a shocker to the viewers. This is the kind of violence and crime depicted in the film. It can be seen in this film that frustration caused by poverty and lack of opportunities was the leading emotion of the kids who become gangsters. This is why Li'l Dice is depicted killing the same person who was handing him over a gun for the first time. The theme of the film, in this sense is very close to reality of Latin American urban slums that comprises of “poverty that stunts the lives of children who labor long hours each day, who work as prostitutes, or who fall victim ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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City of God
The film bases its argument on the population of one of the slums in Rio de Janeiro. The film is a sweeping tale of how criminal acts pessimistically affect the poor population of Rio de Janeiro. The film is unflinching in its depiction of the bitter contention amid gangs of gun toting children and drug moguls who view intimidation and murder as the only way to settle scores.
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