The film, City of God, provides a broad perspective over which a number of issues can be drawn. A story is told of a generation of children trying to survive in one of the biggest slums in Rio de Janeiro in the sixties and the seventies. Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund direct the movie the city of God. The main character in the movie is Li’IZe. At a tender age, Li’IZe who is the main character in the movie had wanted to become a leader in the City of God. Through Li’IZe’s aggressive and ambitious nature, he becomes the ultimate leader and begins to exercise control over the city of God though at a tender age. The film gives an indication that keeping the land is much of a task than conquest. Li’IZe experiences a number of conflicts and in the long run people not known to him kill him. The film uses a short lifespan as duration to give a reflection of what the lowest class in Brazil low class looks like.
The film has received various accolades throughout the world since the time of inception. The movie City of God has a narrative structure that is ingenious to a great extent. The movie is structured in the form of short stories, talking about different people, though the theme is maintained across the board. The theme that is evident in the many short stories has to do with low class Brazilian society. The music and editing part makes significant effort to give the audience a firsthand experience about the Latin American style of filming and through to the conflicting period of blood letting.
Repetition and continuity are extensively employed in the movie. Different shots are cut and used in other different parts of the film. The pace of the film is made to be quick through the different features that are employed. The repetitive and cumbersome parts of the movie are used as a means to amplify the effect of dramatic parts. To the extent, the audience feels feel the effect of the features used as they are meant to make the movie flow.
The shot of the film is direct and captures the attention of the audience. The shot moves from the scene where the kitchen knife is being sharpened to the closing in on the cock. This part shows how people dedicate their time to chase after a cock through the narrow streets of the city. When it becomes evident that they are not able to catch up with the cock, they draw their guns ready to shoot. The part is continued through a beautiful Latin song. Though this part of the film looks ridiculous, it is only but a reflection of the many problems people have to contend with in the larger society. When the people draw guns ready to shoot, it is evident that the city of God is orderliness and grounded on impunity. The city is a dangerous place to be in and when the cock’s fate is sealed through the use of a gun, it is a direct reflection of what other people go through in the hands of the gunmen. The people in the city have either to adapt to the lifestyle or flee to other safe destinations. The Cock is nothing, but metamorphosis in the sense that it tends to give a reflection of the activities in the society.
When boy only named as Rocket appears, the storyline changes completely. Rocket is simplistic with a kind heart for people and likes photography as a tool for the pursuit of happiness. Li’IZe requests Rocket to help in the capture of the Cock. The symbolic gesture by Rocket when he gets prepared to capture the cock is indicative of an attack. The scene of the shot portrays two different issues. The symbolic gesture by Rocket could potentially mean protecting the cock from attack of protecting self from attack. This part shows the extent to which other people could go in protecting themselves and other members of the society. The camera moves around Rocket in a 180-degree style. This shows two things about the scenario. The first half of the degree indicates the fear of the unknown while the second part shows an historical moment. Rocket’s oration starts at the point in which he meets with Li’IZe. Through the events shown by the different shots, it is evident that the people cannot defend themselves while in residence in the city of God. This revelation is alive in the sense that the people living in the city are unable to escape the various evils in the city and if they happen to escape, they can be found to face the same tribulations. The 180-degree shot is significant to a larger extent and is actually indicative of the official commencement of the film.
The introduction of Rocket brings about great developments in the development of the story. Rocket tells of a story concerning some heroic trio back in the sixties. Even though Rocket is the center of attraction in the film in this particular plot, neither him nor the story of the heroic trio qualifies to be called main characters. The insight from Rocket brings out a deeper understanding concerning the City of God. In this excerpt, the city of God is portrayed as being violent, marred with political indifferences and religious cartels. In this contest, the people live their lives as though it is their last day because fear and dangers grip the society in every instance. The dwellers of the city are confined in smaller strata in the society and to them that is the focal point of the world. The people deal with a wide range of issues to the extent that they are left to ponder about the wellbeing of social life. Drugs, violence, dirty money are some of the issues that the people deal with a regular basis. Violence in the City of God is used as a means to an end as it is used as a show of power and authority and to appeal for ‘Justice’.
The trio, who are boys almost known to everyone in the city are well known and feared in the city. It can be said of them as being famous and in touch with the issues on the ground to this extent. The trio should not be confused as part of the larger gang as they only depend on making fun of people to earn a living. The innocence of the boys is furthered in the subsequent storylines. The demise of the two of the heroic trio and the gradual disappearance of the remaining one brings about sorrow and disbelief. Though Rocket, tells the story in a rather soft tone, the reality is that pain and heartbreak are the order of the day. The heroic trio band a waitress in some hotel, they are told to stop illicit behaviors and focus on school for a better future. It is a reflection that the children in the city only have education as an assurance of a better future. The environment of the city is detrimental to the wellbeing of the children.
The most simplistic story happens when the story in the apartment is aired. The camera is put strategically in a corner and faces the door of the room. The longest shot of the film crosses a wide range of duration. Without any movement, the camera records everything and indicating a change from the sixties and the seventies. The shot concentrates on an era to indicate appearance, change, ending, rebirth and death. The audiences are able to learn the possibilities of the collapse of a system. The director uses elements such as quick shots to indicate joy and slow shots to show a rush. Li’IZe appears at the end of the story. The people in the apartment are only shown in seconds. This teaches that one may be great, but at one given point replacement has to take effect and new people introduced into the system.
Li’IZe’s characterization is complicated to some extent. At a tender age, Li’IZe draws inspiration from the heroic trio. His desire to rob is portrayed when he follows the heroic trio to the hotel in order to steal. He becomes dangerous to the extent that he is able to kill anyone who crosses his path. The director uses low angle shots to exemplify his smile. Li’IZe becomes shy anytime a girl asks to dance with him. Li’IZe appearance in the newspaper makes him happy though his only concern is his brother Benny. Li’IZe gets major advices from the brother. Benny is finally killed in an unprecedented manner indicating that there is no place for rational people in the city of God. Li’IZe believes that the law of the jungle has to apply and goes ahead to kill people. Instead of people hating him, he gets sympathies from people.
Benny’s farewell turns out to be the turning point of the film. The city is pushed into a panic mode and many people lose their lives as a result. The end of the story brings focus on Rocket who is the same age as Li’IZe who has a different lifestyle. Rocket does not engage in violent activities and does not revenge on behalf of the brother. Li’IZe goes ahead to tease Rocket prompting a break up between Rocket and the girlfriend. Benny finally takes Rockets girlfriend. In the end, Rockets becomes a great photographer while Li’IZe passes on. Rocket becomes like a lotus in a mud and the only wish in the film. The Li’IZe’s photo is published in the newspaper, but the ones about his dealings with the police are not shown at all. Justice is elusive in the city of God.
The film concludes and looking back at the little children left back, it is hoped that as another generation falls, another tries to trace their previous way and establish their own world. The world to be established has to do with the rebuilding of the order structures and repeating the tragedy over and over again. They are the stories of the city of God, a place that is near to God but always ignored by God.