City of God

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Cidade de Deus</i> (<i>City of God</i>), directed by Fernando Meirelles in 2002, follows the life of a photographer named Rocket.<span>&nbsp; </span>The film, based on historical events and the novel by Paulo Lins, shows life in the shanty town City of God in Rio de Janeiro from the 1960s to the early 1980s (Hart 205).<span>&nbsp; </span>The book, by the same title, has been described as a “testimonio, which means a fictionalized version of a real life story based on real life characters (Hart 205).<span>&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;">While the film mainly focuses on gang involvement in the City of God, it does not mention what the violence was directed from.<span>&nbsp; </span>Oliver’s article details the differences between the gangs found in favelas, like the City of God, and those found in the ghettos of New York.<span>&nbsp; </span>In New York, gangs were mainly a result of racism, but in Brazil, race was almost completely disregarded.<span>&nbsp; </span>In Brazil, the violence is caused by class conflict (Oliver, 72).<span>&nbsp; </span>Unlike the New York ghetto, which contained mostly African Americans, the favelas were racially mixed (Oliver, 73). <span>&nbsp;</span>Although the favelas were racially mixed, there was no constant segregation.<span>&nbsp; </span>Different races united under poverty, and then proceeded to fight about who controlled the underground drug trade.<span>&nbsp; </span>In the film, both Lil’ Z’s gang and Knockout Ned’s had varying races present.<span>&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;">Hart’s article detailed the film by describing the ways that the film was historically accurate, including how the lives of the favelados were “manipulated by the mediatic, governmental, and law enforcing powers within society” (Hart, 206).<span>&nbsp; </span>Early in the film, the police gun down Shaggy after he hijacked a car, and a photographer took many pictures of his body.<span>&nbsp; </span><span>&nbsp;</span>These photographs were probably used in the media in hopes that future trouble makers would reconsider.<span>&nbsp; </span>Rocket is nearby when this happens, and ironically sparks his interest in photography.<span>&nbsp; </span>Later in the film, Rocket receives a camera and takes pictures of Lil Z’s gang, fully armed.<span>&nbsp; </span>He had the film developed at the local newspaper, where one of the images was printed on the cover of the paper the next day.<span>&nbsp; </span>The paper hires him to take more pictures of the gang, which leads into the unveiling of the corrupt law enforcement.<span>&nbsp; </span>After the final shoot out in the film, Lil Z is captured by the police, and they took his money because he owed them.<span>&nbsp; </span>It turns out that the police were supplying the guns to the gangs, and Rocket caught it all on film.</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;">“Fight and you’ll never survive, run and you’ll never escape,” Rocket said in the film.<span>&nbsp; </span>This statement sadly was true for most of those living in the City of God.<span>&nbsp; </span>Rocket was one of very few that found a middle path that led out of the favela.<span>&nbsp; </span>At one point he worked at a grocery store, and was fired due to association with a group of kids that robbed the store during his shift.<span>&nbsp; </span>But he did find his break with a camera at the newspaper.<span>&nbsp; </span>This slogan did hold true to most of his friends during the film though.<span>&nbsp; </span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>