City of God

Watched City of God DVD.

The obsessions with everything Brazilian continues. (See my article on Brazilian woman, a brief review of a compilation of Brazilian music for more on the obsession.) City of God is an excellent movie, beautifully shot, with plot twists some of which were obvious (like who killed the people in the motel) and some not. It was not as violent as I expected it, at least in terms of what they showed. There are certainly moments of horrific violence which occur just off-camera, and justifiably so, since the story is told from the point of view of Rocket, who is an outsider to almost everything that happens in it, except, of course, at the very end. If you get a hold of the DVD, stick around for the hour-long documentary on the favelas, which are characterized as a war-zone. I've never been to one, and never will be to one, but it makes me wonder if people like Diplo, who includes the word "favela" in his baile funk compilations—see the Pitchfork review for Favela Strikes Back to see what I mean—have ever been to one. The scene in the documentary of the policement escorting a subject up a favela, with the women of the neighbourhood following them (so that the police won't execute the suspect), then back down, is easily the documentary's most haunting. City of God, the second half starring Seu Jorge as Knockout Ned, is a beautiful, complex, sometimes scary film about the poorest areas of a poor country.