City of God (Cidade de Deus), directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, adapted Bráulio Mantovani from the novel by Paulo Lins, is easily one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time, if not ever.
I can really say no more than these few things, without minimizing the story and the truth behind it: this film shows how easily foreign films can eviscerate even the best efforts of American filmmakers. It is hard to believe that an American director or writer could even conceive of, let alone create and produce, such a horrifying, effusive, scrutinizing, and empathetic work. City of God takes the efforts of some of our greatest and most stylistically masterful films (the Godfather trilogy and Pulp Fiction come to mind), rolls them up, smokes them with a casual look, and blows them back at us, leaving us reeling in the fog of violence and desperation, with visions induced by the potency of truth.
Go, see it now. There are few films I can recommend more highly.
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MPAA Review: strong brutal violence, sexuality, drug content and language.