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City of God

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Original title
Cidade de Deus
Running time
130 min.
Brazil Brazil
Braulio Mantovani. Novel: Paulo Lins
Antonio Pinto, Ed Cortes
César Charlone
O2 Filmes, VideoFilmes, Globo Filmes, Wild Bunch, Lumière, Studiocanal, Hank Levine Film, Lereby Produções
Drama | Based On A True Story. Teen/coming-of-age. Poverty. Crime. 1960s. 1970s. 1980s. Drugs. Cult Movie. Street Gang
Cidade de Deus (City of God) is a housing project built in the 1960's that--in the early 80's--became one of the most dangerous places in Rio de Janeiro. The tale tells the stories of many characters whose lives sometimes intersect. However, all is seen through the eyes of a singular narrator: Busca-Pé, a poor black youth too frail and scared to become an outlaw but also to smart to be content with underpaid, menial jobs. He grows up in a very violent environment. The odds are all against him. But Busca-Pé soon discovers that he can see reality differently than others. His redemption is that he's been given an artist's point of view as a keen-eyed photographer. As Busca-Pé is not the real protagonist of the film--only the narrator--he is not the one who makes the decisions that will determine the sequence of events. Nevertheless, not only his life is attached to what happens in the story, but it is also through Busca-Pé's perspective of life that one can understand the complicated layers and humanity of a world, apparently condemned to endless violence.
Rankings Position
2003: 4 Nominations for Oscar: Best Director, Cinematography, Editing, Adapted Screenplay
2002: Golden Globes: Nominated Foreign Language Film
2002: BAFTA Awards: Best Editing.Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film
2003: New York Film Critics Circle: Best Foreign Film
2003: Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film
2003: Toronto Film Festival: Best Foreign Language Picture
2003: Critics' Choice Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film
2003: Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Foreign Language Film
2003: Independent Spirit Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Film
2003: British Independent Film Awards (BIFA): Best International Independent Film
2002: Havana International Film Festival: Grand Coral - Best Film (ex aequo)
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