City of God

City of God ★★★★★

Film Club (week 21)

Absolutely incredible. A movie with very important themes and message, and a synopsis that will sound exhausting or even tedious - yet, it's directed with such a pulsating energy that you can't look away. This is one of the most gorgeously shot movies I've seen in a long time. So much of it is shaky-cam too, but it fits the tone of the story perfectly. City of God is undeniably a demanding watch, with gruesome, violent scenes you don't exactly feel comfortable with, but it all serves real purpose and is not simply for shock value. It shows us what happens when money, drugs and violence all become the same corrupted currency.

It shows how people are shaped by their surroundings, always adapting to survive, sometimes doing horrible acts in the process. But it also shows you glimmers of hope and joy. In the midst of all the violence we see endearing love and affection, real human connections and a desire to escape the unending circle of shit that these people find themselves in. Some of these kids just want to become photographers, journalists, doctors and bus drivers. The main character is interested in photography, which allows him to escape his fate for just a moment, to look at his world from the outside and not the inside.

One of my favorite scenes is Rocket and his friend trying to break bad so to speak, by robbing a bus worker or a cashier, yet always having an excuse to abort last minute. She was too cute, I couldn't do it, Rocket says. The purity of children in them come out in these moments, and it tells us that they're just like you and me, just trapped in a fucked up world. City of God is heartbreaking, thrilling and eye opening, and an instant favorite.

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