City of God
Fernando Mereilles and Katia Lund
9/10 (emotionally hollow)
A shocking, unrelenting look at gang life in the shantytown favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Based on actual events and filmed using real-life favela residents with basic training in screen acting, the gritty truth of the movie is undeniable. Its intensity level will leave you wired and the on-screen violence perpetrated by children and teenagers can be difficult to watch. But apart from the simple shock value, “City” is an extremely well-produced film, with a terrific script, great camerawork/cinematography and an unbeatable soundtrack.
It fails at perfection because the makers don’t make you care enough about the characters to be really moved. There’s a detachment to the story that — while it makes for great viewing — is borderline exploitative. Bottom line though: see it already, if you don’t mind disturbing imagery.
15 April 2010