Every Friday we feature a movie someone on our staff has chosen as their favorite Miramax film. Today's pick is City of God from our Marketing Intern, Leslie Schuman. Fernando Meirelles directed the film which was nominated for four Oscars including Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Director in 2002. The Brazillian filmmaker also directed a commercial for this year's World Cup.
As the games play out in Brazil, we are reminded how important football is to this country, especially the children growing up in the favelas. What better time to watch or re-watch City of God along with your World Cup viewing this weekend to be reminded of the beauty and the ongoing battles for so many people.
Miramax's library is filled with American movie classics ranging from Pulp Fiction to Chicago to the Scream series. I'm a fan of many of the American films Miramax has released, however, I've chosen City of God, a Brazilian film, as my favorite Miramax film.
City of God is set in a Rio de Janeiro slum and tracks the development of a group of kids from young boys who commit petty theft to grown men in charge of the largest drug rings in the Rio area. The story of the City of God is divided into three sections, which allows the audience to easily track the progression of the slum and its characters. The film starts out lightheartedly enough; although it is still set in a slum, the lighting is bright, people are smiling and playing soccer, and even the crimes committed are petty in comparison to what comes later.
As City of God moves to its second and third sections, it gets darker and grittier. The camerawork in the later sections of the film are intense; the editing is quick and the filming is unsteady, both reflecting the increased pace in action. The mood goes from sunny and lighthearted to dark and eventually, threatening.
Overall, if you're a fan of gritty, gangster films, City of God is a film you may enjoy. It's a gangster film with better storytelling, quicker editing and a Brazilian twist. Even if you're not usually a fan of foreign films, I suggest you give City of God a chance.