Derek’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film Club Secret Cinema #1 (Primary)
“The slum had been a purgatory. Now, it was Hell.”
Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund's crime epic City of God is a brilliant, heartbreaking, fascinating, and relentlessly intense look at the circle of organized crime in the titular suburb in Rio de Janeiro. I was constantly gripped by the nonstop cycle of betrayal, love, and violence in this broken community. The film has some of the best cinematography and editing I have ever seen in any film. The script is masterfully written by Bráulio Mantovani. The pacing is perfect and the dialogue is simultaneously believable and cinematic. Meirelles’ direction is flawless and the film is full of his unique personality and style, while also honoring the history the film is based on and presenting the city and time period authentically. All of the performances, even the minor ones, are completely convincing and the characters are all unique and engaging. This film feels so real and honest, clearly made with the courage to present the truth in all its disturbing reality. I was never bored or distracted and was totally invested in wherever the story went. The original score and soundtrack were also fantastic. City of God is a phenomenal film and I absolutely loved it. I would recommend it to anyone.