Cidade De Dues

The movie Cidade De Dues, or The City of God was a really great movie directed by Fernando Meirelles. The imagery of the slums in the city, the power of the killings that took place over and over again, mixed with the shock of seeing young kids, some no older that what appeared to be 8-10 years old, created a movie that was difficult to watch and yet difficult to look away from. Part of what made the movie so riveting, was the directors generous use of flashbacks, that constantly kept the viewer on the edge of their seats trying to figure out exactly what order the events were taking place in. In his review, Stephen M. Hart, wrote that, “One other point ought to be made about the flashbacks and this concerns the point at which they re-connect with the narrative proper which, as it were, had halted in order for the past sequence to be ‘remembered’ by the film’s consciousness.”(Cidade De Deus 209) By constantly going from the past to the present and vice versa, Meirelles created a movie that told a complete story that tied what seemed to be a number of loose elements into a one clear storyline.
Within that story, Meirelles addressed many of the issues that were facing the Latin American countries around the time of the seventies. One can see the rise in a sort of sub-culture that the Brazilians were experiencing, by the groups that the different young people were dividing themselves into. Most notably the young group of “Groovies” that the young Rocket found himself a part of. The movie depicts, around the midpoint of the movie, the hard times that the younger generations found themselves struggling in. A good example, since the movie is seen through the eyes of Rocket, is how he hated his job at the supermarket, but that he refused to quit and wanted to be laid off so he could collect his severance. Because of these tough times, the drug use in the ghettos continued to climb, which paved the way for a huge increase in drug trafficking. Likewise, it made the buying and selling of drugs way more lucrative of a business for guys like lil dice and Carrot. All that the movie depicted about the rise of the drug use and the increasing wealth and power of the drug dealers themselves is well documented in the history of South America. Likewise, a maybe more importantly, the movie correctly portrays the police force as either being incapable of really keeping a handle on the drugs and the violence, or unconcerned because they were being paid off. The interesting angle is how the media seems to be the one entity that is interested in the story, and the one creates the most interest in the drug wars of the City of God.
The last thing to note is the rise of the group known as the runts. Kids who are drug users, who rob their own people, and who by the end of the movie are committing murders and planning on committing more. This seems to be the most striking image of the movie, since it is a depiction of how the corruption has seeped down through society to the point where it was affecting the children in the City of God. However, it can be viewed semi-symbolic move on the part of Meirelles, as it might be seen as the youth are taking over their futures and thus the futures of the Latin American countries will be decided by the growing youth movements.