City of God (2002 film)
|City of God|
135 minutes (
|Box office||$30.6 million|
City of God (
The cast includes
The film received worldwide critical acclaim and was nominated for four
Meirelles and Lund went on to create the
This article's plot summary may be
The film begins with a scene of chickens being prepared for a meal. A chicken escapes and an armed gang chases after it in a
In the 1960s, the favela is a newly built housing project far from the centre of Rio de Janeiro, with little access to electricity and water. Three impoverished, amateur thieves known as the "Tender Trio" – Shaggy (Cabeleira), Clipper (Alicate), and Goose (Marreco) – rob and loot business owners; Goose is Rocket's older brother. The thieves split part of the loot with the citizens of the City and are protected by them in return. Several younger boys idolize the trio, and one, Li'l Dice (Dadinho), convinces them to hold up a motel and rob its occupants. The gang resolves not to kill anyone and tells Li'l Dice to serve as a lookout. Instead, after the Li'l Dice falsely warns the trio that the police are coming, he guns down the motel inhabitants. The massacre is brought to the police's attention, forcing the trio to split up: Clipper joins the church, Shaggy is shot by the police while trying to escape the favela, and Goose is shot by Li'l Dice after taking the thieving boy's money while Li'l Dice's friend Benny (Bené), who is Shaggy's brother, watches.
In the 1970s, the favela has been transformed into an urban jungle. Rocket has joined a group of young
Some time later, a relative peace comes over the City of God under the reign of Li'l Zé, who manages to avoid police attention. Benny decides to branch out of the drug dealer crowd and convinces Tiago, Angelica's ex-boyfriend, to get him some new clothes. Tiago also introduces Benny to his (and Rocket's) group of friends, and Benny and Angelica begin dating. Together, they decide to leave the City and the drug trade. During Benny's farewell party, Zé and Benny get into an argument and Blackie accidentally kills Benny while trying to shoot Li'l Zé. As Benny was the only man holding Lil Zé back from taking over Carrot's business, his death leaves Lil Zé unchecked, and Carrot kills Blackie for endangering his life. Following Benny's death, Lil Zé and a group of his soldiers start to make their way to Carrot's hideout with the intention of killing him. On the way, Lil Zé stops to hit on a girl who dismisses him. Zé follows the girl and beats up her boyfriend, a peaceful man named Knockout Ned (Mane Galinha), and rapes her. After Ned's brother stabs Lil Zé, his gang retaliates by killing his brother and uncle. Ned, looking for revenge, sides with Carrot, and a war breaks out between Carrot and Lil Zé.
A year later in the early 1980s, the war continues and even the reason for the war is forgotten. Both sides enlist more "soldiers" and Lil Zé specifically gives the Runts weapons. One day, Lil Zé has Rocket take photos of him and his gang. After Rocket leaves his film with a friend who works at a newspaper office downtown, a female reporter publishes one of the prints, a major scoop since nobody is able to safely enter the City of God anymore. Rocket believes his life is endangered, as he thinks Lil Zé will kill him for publishing the photo of him and his gang. The reporter takes Rocket in for the night, and he loses his virginity to her. Unbeknownst to him, Lil Zé is excited about the picture being published, as he believes that now, people will finally know who he is.
Rocket agrees to continue taking photographs, not realizing that Lil Zé is pleased with his increased notoriety. Rocket returns to the City for more photographs, which brings the film back to its opening scene. Confronted by the gang, Rocket is surprised that Zé asks him to take pictures, but as he prepares to take the photo, the police arrive, then drive off when Carrot arrives. In the ensuing gunfight, Ned is killed by a boy who has infiltrated his gang to avenge his father, a civilian whom Ned has shot. The police capture Li'l Zé and Carrot and plan to show Carrot off to the media. Since Lil Zé has been bribing the police, they take Lil Zé's money and let him go, but Rocket secretly photographs the scene. Lil Zé is immediately murdered by the Runts who intend to run the criminal enterprise themselves. The death is also out of revenge for the Runt that Lil Zè had one of his initiates kill. Rocket photographs Zé's dead body and brings both pictures to the newspaper.
Rocket contemplates whether to publish the photo of the cops, exposing corruption and becoming famous, or the photo of Li'l Zé's body, which will get him an internship at the newspaper. He decides on the latter and the film ends with the Runts walking around the City of God, making a hit list of the dealers they plan to kill to take over the drug business, including the