City Of God Analysis

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The Brazilian film City of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund provides an insiders look on the lives of inner-city young adults involved in organized crime as they attempt to survive and navigate the slums in which they live. The film, loosely based on real life events, is a commentary on the cyclical nature of violence in the titular City of God, a slum located in Rio de Janeiro. The film chooses to document the rise and fall of crime in Rio de Janeiro that took place from the 1960s to the 1980s and the lives of inner-city kids involved in it. It toys with themes of cyclical and inescapable violence; suffocation; and the inexorable nature of poverty and involvement in a life of organized crime and gang activities through the employment of several editing techniques throughout the length of the film such as split frame simultaneous shots, quick and violent cuts, and POV shots. Notably, these techniques are primarily used when shooting Rocket, the main character of the film and a member of the favela. Rocket’s place in the story is the main vessel for pushing these themes in the story as the film chooses to focus on his emotions regarding the favela. Overall these editing techniques work to provide the representation of the favela as suffocating and small; a representation that is tied intrinsically with themes of poverty and the certainty of violence.
Throughout the length of the film the viewers watch as the plot seemingly goes in circles, helpless to end

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