|City Of God|
Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund
Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Phellipe Haagense
In Portuguese; widescreen; closed caption; English, Spanish, French subtitles; "News From a Personal War" documentary.
|The streets and alleys of Rio de Janeiro provide a fetid, galvanizing locale for a walloping stun-gun of a movie from Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles. Spanning three decades, "City of God" handily combines a coming-of-age tale with an insider's view of a notorious Rio housing project where warring drug lords rule and life gets more harrowing as the years roll on. "City of God" is violent and ambitious, but it achieves everything it sets out to do. With eyes and ears for the coarse reality of slum life, Meirelles and co-director Katia Lund enhance their storytelling with high-tech, post-MTV camera techniques that bring super-charged visuals, visceral power and funky, inner-city flash to the project. The film is based on a novel by Paulo Lins, who grew up in the dead-end neighborhood known as the City of God. Lins escaped poverty and an early grave by becoming a writer. A photojournalist on a similar journey is the hero of "City of God." The photographer's odyssey, the fate of his family, friends and enemies and a near-omniscient view of the slum make this feature an unforgettable mix of crime drama and social history.|