What You Need To Know:
(PaPa, C, B, So, LLL, VVV, SS, NNN, A, DDD, MM) Pagan worldview with some Christian, moral and socialist elements; about 118 obscenities including many "f" words and one strong profanity; excessive amount of brutal gang violence (not much blood is shown, however) including bloodthirsty murders, stabbings, implied rape, beatings, and gang war with little children as well as young adults wielding large guns; implied fornication and hoodlums enter hotel rooms where naked people are lying about engaged in sex acts; brief full male nudity, rear nudity and brief upper female nudity; alcohol use; scenes of smoking marijuana, cocaine sniffing and gangs selling drugs; and, stealing, robbery, revenge, police corruption, selling arms to drug dealers, protagonist and his friends think being cool is more important being good, and evil drug dealer appears to make pact with the devil through a witch doctor.
GENRE: Thriller/Gangster Movie
In the 1960s the Brazilian government built a housing project in Rio de Janeiro for working class people and the poor. Many people who were homeless due to floods and other disasters were able to find homes there. Nicknamed the City of God, the projects soon became a violent, crime-ridden slum.
CITY OF GOD is a new Brazilian movie that tells how this housing project became one of the world’s most notorious slums. It tells the story through the eyes of Rocket. At age 11 and 12 in the late 1960s, Rocket grows up observing the exploits of “the Tender Trio” – a gang of three older, small-time hoodlums that includes Rocket’s brother, Goose. Another boy Rocket’s age, Lil Dice, moves into the neighborhood. Lil Dice dreams of becoming the biggest gangster of all. His wicked nature becomes evident early in life when the Tender Trio, unknown to them, gives Lil Dice the chance to kill several people for the very first time, all at once.
Rocket grows up as a teenager, developing a fascination for photography and a lust for a beautiful girl named Angelica. Lil Dice, with help from his friend Benny and a demonic witch doctor, becomes the most feared and respected drug dealer in the City of God. His word becomes law, and peace is established for a time in the slums. Angelica turns to Benny instead of Rocket after Rocket lets a gang of thieving children harass him. Benny keeps trying to calm Lil Dice’s bloodlust, but Lil Dice still wants to kill people who irk him, especially his rival, a lesser drug dealer named Carrot.
One night Lil Dice, who can’t get a woman despite his power, gets jealous of a handsome bus-fare collector named Knockout Ned. He beats up Ned and rapes Ned’s girlfriend. When Ned tries to fight back, Lil Dice kills Ned’s brother and uncle, but misses Ned. Ned, who’s a dead shot because of a stint in the army, joins Carrot’s gang. A brutal gang war, including young boys with guns, engulfs the City of God. Rocket chronicles the final mayhem with a news camera that he’s gotten from working on a city newspaper in Rio.
CITY OF GOD the movie is a brutal representation of the evil and violence that engulfed the most notorious slum in South America. It clearly shows the kind of rampant sinfulness that breaks out when there is a complete breakdown of civilization. Even the youngest children can become monsters, the movie’s final shots cry out.
CITY OF GOD contains numerous references to the vestiges of Christian belief within the slum, but Christianity offers hope for only one minor character in the story. The movie also treats marijuana use as a harmless habit, says nothing about Rocket’s immoral desire to lose his virginity through premarital sex and says that the urban police force in Brazil is almost totally corrupt. Finally, CITY OF GOD contains an excessive amount of foul language and brutal gang violence, though the violence is not gory. Ultimately, the filmmakers are happy with just chronicling the disease that took control of this slum, not in offering any positive solutions. This seems true even though Rocket, the protagonist in the story, gets out of the violent slums by eventually finding a good paying profession.
Of course, the real answer to all sin is a loving, committed faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The salvation of Jesus Christ is offered to everyone, but it’s no good if you don’t take the free gift which God offers to you.
Please address your comments to:
Bob and Harvey Weinstein
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New York, NY 10013
Phone: (323) 822-4100 & (212) 941-3800
Fax: (212) 941-3846