• Directed by Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
  • Starring Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino
  • 2002 | 130mins | Brazil | (18)

In the gripping adaptation of Paulo Lins' novel, 'City of God' explores the life in the Rio de Janeiro favela of the same name from the 1960s to the 1980s. Through the eyes of Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues), an aspiring photographer, the film depicts his attempts to avoid the prevalent violence and crime. He aspires for a better life, dreaming of winning over Angélica (Alicia Braga). His life contrasts with L’il Zé (Leandro Firmino), who rises to become a ruthless crime lord alongside his friend the much loved Bené (Phellipe Haagensen). The tension escalates when Knockout Ned (singer / actor Seu Jorge) seeking vengeance appears, leading to a fierce gang showdown.

Directed by Fernando Meirelles, the film's raw performances, especially by non-actors from the favelas, and César Charlone's dynamic cinematography vividly capture the chaos of the favela. The editing by Daniel Rezende, along with a vibrant soundtrack, contributes to the film's intense pace.

Critically acclaimed, 'City of God' stands as a cinematic triumph, ranked #25 Best Film of all time on IMDB and with a 97% FRESH rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002, it received four Academy Award nominations, marking Meirelles' emergence as a notable director and revitalizing Brazilian cinema.