City of God or City of Dreams

By: Dez Wortham

lil-z(Still from City of God)

So I finally got out of my stubborn ways and listened for once. I think I might have to start listening more often because City of God was a treat. The entire movie was a puzzle for me. You never knew who was going to side with who. You never knew who was going to die. The story is about a boy named Rocket who is growing up in a Brazilian hood. The movie follows his journey on trying to make it out and to be a photographer/journalist one day. Throughout this story, everyone around Rocket falls to pieces. The majority of the kids he grew up with fall victim to the drug and burglary game. Rocket never gets too involved in anything, he just goes to deadly ends to reach his goal of being a photographer.  

The opening scene is a flash forward to one of the best scenes in the movie. This scene was filled with so much action and it comes at a time where you are least expecting it. It seems as if every five minutes or so something happens which changes your thought process. The character of Li’l Z ( Li’l Dice ) is such an interesting character because there is something in life that you feel he is missing and you see that become evident when he meets Knockout Ned.

There were some scenes where I got a knot in my throat because I was in awe of what some of these children were doing. I was tempted to turn the movie off when Li’l Z made Steak N Fries shoot one of the kids for his initiation to the crew. 

Though it was a great film and was right up my alley with the action, drugs and violent behavior, there were two main themes that I got from the film.  One theme was that if you do the right thing and stay focused on your goals that they will one day come  true and all the bumps throughout the journey make it worth it. The second theme I take away from this movie is be careful who you let in your circle. If Ned would have been a little more careful he would have been able to fulfill his mission. 

The only downfall to the movie is that you have to read subtitles the entire time but besides that if you are into gangster films with a lot of drugs and violence then this a must see. 

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5 Responses to City of God or City of Dreams

  1. mediaphiles says:

    City of Gods has always been on my To Watch list, and it seems that I should really go for it. It sounds a lot like Boyz N the Hood from you description. I think I’ll find it compelling too. Also, a whole new world of movies will be available if you accept subtitles! Right now I’m dying for more Italian Neorealism and French New Wave, if only I have more time!

    -Kevin Yu

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I keep meaning to watch this movie. I always see it on Netflix and Amazon Prime and think to myself “I gotta watch that at some point”. Your analysis makes me want to see it even more. It seems like a very harrowing movie that isn’t afraid to show its audience what really happens in this city in the film. I’m going to have to see it soon.

    – Cal Parsons

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I saw this film last semester in Intro to film and I loved it. It was movie that I had heard of and had “been meaning to watch,” for awhile, but I never got around to it until it was assigned. The action is great throughout and the characters are all fascinating. It really is a great film that more people need to see.

    -Walker Rise

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I have never seen this but it looks good with great characters. Your analysis makes it also look more intriguing. -Jordan Hansgen

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Your analysis makes me want to watch this film soon. Now the only thing I have to do is find the time to watch it. After your comment, downfall to the movie is that you have to read subtitles the entire time. I hate watching films that are like this, you miss important parts of the films having to read the subtitles.

    – John Armstrong

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