I just watched the movie that "Sin City
" wished it could have been, at least in story line. What "Sin City" accomplishes through slick images and special effects, "Cidade de Deus
" accomplishes through sheer power of storytelling. Translated from Portuguese, as you've no doubt guessed, it means "City of God" and it follows the life of a budding photographer named Rocket who comes from the slums. As a child, Rocket tries to be like the other cool kids, but doesn't quite fit in, and when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, he discovers he lacks the motivation. But, from the viewers' point of view, this is ok, because the cool kids are all wanna-be gangsters, thieves, drug addicts, and murderers. The film is a window into a life I will, almost certainly, never know; more than that, though, it is a window into one generation that is not unique. They have followed the way of their predecessors and there weill be those who follow them in a continuing cycle of death. Rocket does not play a hero. He does not try to participate in this (well he tries once or twice but fails comically) nor does he try to stop it. What he does do is follow it, and eventually, document it in photographs. He stands to lose everything, but when you start with nothing, this seems to be an acceptable risk. I really enjoyed this film even though it disturbed me and left me discomforted. The characters were all so lively, so real and memorable. The location was as much of a character as the people, and I like stories that pull that off. Check it out, but be prepared for subtitles. It's worth the read.
My husband received that last year for his birthday. We have yet to watch it.