Cidade de Deus

The 2002 film Cidade de Deus, City of God, is a film portraying the recurring cycle of crime among young adults in a poorer area of Brazil. The film showed a few kids in school, but education was not pushed. There were hardly any adults shown to be in the kids life, the only ones coming to mind were the police officers. And there were not too many times the death of these young adults or kids were grieved over, it seemed like the many deaths went unnoticed. Education, mentors, and community were very much absent as whole. These three missing pieces are of importance for any young adult looking for their path in life.

The ghetto the film was shot in looked to be poor, and offered little chances for those who sought them out. Rocket was a boy in the film who wanted to be a photographer and recognized that being rebellious would not get him where he wanted to be in life. However because he lived in the ghetto and was trusted by those boys he was able to capture some big events on film. For example, Rocket caught the police men in their corrupt act being involved with Lil Z and his gang. The war in the ghetto shed a lot more blood than it should have because this law officials were not doing their job.

Ney dos Santo’s Oliveira’s article, Favelas and Ghettos: Race and Class in Ria de Janeiro and New York City, begins with defining ghetto and favelas. Oliveira believes that by definition the term ghetto can be viewed as being negative, however “the use of the term ‘favela’ in Brazil does not carry such a strong (negative) connotations about race or ethnicity; favela’s are not exclusively racial enclaves.” For Brazil, it is what it is, it is a way of life. He goes on to say that “they [favelados] are typically referred to as socially and politically disorganized, lazy and so on”. And the film did a great job capturing all of this. The justice system itself was portrayed as one sided and the kids continuously talked about the pyramid system of selling drugs. The drug community was no secret. The people in charge were the ones at the top of the drug pyramids, they ran their “parts of town”. With selling drugs comes power and money. This too was no secret to the younger kids who were do anything they had to get there, even killing other people!

One of the more interesting parts to Julio Cesear Pino’s article, Labor in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro, 1940-1969, was the jump on the occupations chart in the Praia do Pinto area from 1942-1969. In 1942 there were 12 mechanic’s and in 1969 there were 199. Assuming the need for one grew over 27 years is very logical. It was a new skill to pass on to the next generation and shows growth within the community for the need of, and ability to get, transportation. This statistic should reveal a little hope.