City of God Analysis Essay
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Dec 2nd, 2019

City of God Analysis Essay

The films thought-out for this disquisition – City of God (2002) and Favela Rising (2006) entertain enthralled favelas from the marginality of Brazilian collection and enraptured them into the wisdom of the interpolitical open. Favelas entertain beseem a cultural icon of Rio de Janeiro, as illustrious as the postcard images of Copacabana seacoast and the representation of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain. Gone 1992 tourists entertain been cogent to presage up for “favelatour“ and see foremost influence the favela of Rocinha via one of the multiple tourism agencies competing for concern in what has beseem one of Rio’s most widesprecognize tours.


City of God

Fernando Meirelles’ film City of God (2002) is established on the Brazilian fantastic of the identical mark by Paulo Lins (1996). City of God (Cidade de Deus) is the mark of the favela wneighboring Lins grew up, and the fantastic is established on a gentleman romance enthralled from confabulations and discovery persuadeed by Lins in the favela aggravate a date of 8 years concerning the severicularize of offal trafficking and crew hostilities.

The film has attracted ample dubious commendation due to its confrontation of the issues amid the favela as courteous as the gritty existentism aftercited a period which it was shot and unconfused portrayion of fury amid the favela. The film is narrated by one of two similarityible offices, Rocket, and acquaints the romance of the speeds of himself and Lil Ze, outcome who grew up in the Cidade de Deus in congruous requisite yet who chose disconnected roadways in zeal. In the film the office Rocket symbolises covet, as he dreams of neat a photographer, and this is used as a demeanor amid the film to relate imagery of the favela to twain the media in Rio de Janeiro amid the romance, and to the apprehensioner. Lil Ze is a slip aftercited a period the ‘taste for wrong’ that accrues up to be the favela’s most mighty and recognized offal trader. The speeds of the two are intertwined and ironically Rocket’s dreams of neat a photographer are existentised through his similarity to zeal in the favela and his portrayion of the wrongs perpetrated by Lil Ze and his crew.

The film’s chink and closing posteriority include a 360 position rotational shot of Rocket in the principal of a complexion off among the crewsters and the police, unsure of wneighboring to rotate. This is symbolic of the romance of the film in that his zeal can accept one of either moderate. The truth is then reclaimed down into a train of vignettes which acquaint the romance of the favela and the similarityible offices, and incidentually which road Rocket runs to accept.

I persuade that this film was compulsory in mound awareness of twain the history of as courteous as the issues amid the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, and was one of the foremost cultural representations to appear from Brazil to pretence the darker cause of the city and an dubitate verity to what is habitually perceived encircling Rio, that is postcard images of seacoastes, sunsets and samba. Via this cultural demeanor I persuade that it was practicefficacious to astir to persuade concernes in the city such as ‘favela tour’ and ‘favela severy’ due to curiosity-behalf from alieners in spectacle and experiencing a preponderance of zeal in the favelas. Which trains the question: Did this film adore zeal in the favelas, or did it portray a existentistic perspective of verity? How has wisdom mound of the alien open gone unnatural the community of these courtly quantitys and has this issue been existent or denying?

I persuade that one of the key strengths of the film is existentism. The actors are amateurs recruited from the favelas, and the similarityible office Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) is from the Cidade de Deus favela itself, which lends authenticity and local perspective to the offices. The film was shot incause a existent favela rather than a film set, portico the apprehensioner instantly into the courtly quantity of favela community.

Tneighboring are diverse key disquisitions in the film which I achieve delineation beneath and which train points of dissequence akin to the verity of zeal for favela community. Alongcause the disquisition of rare, the film trains the questions of what discretions outcome who accrue up in this environment entertain for fife. One of the most revolting and criticised features of the film is its relateal of fury executed by existing outcome in the favela. The offices ‘The Runts’ are a clump of outcome in the favela time-honored existinger than 8 who apprehension wrong and neat sever of a offals melody the simply discretion for their forthcoming. Their juvenility is emphasised in a spectacle wneighboring they are sift-canvassing wanting to accept aggravate the most mighty offals melody in the favela whilst sat in a fenced off cubicle which could be relishned to a outcome’s playpen. This spectacle culminates in haply the most memorcogent and revolting spectacle in the film, wneighboring a slip eagerness to be prepared into Lil Ze’s crew is arduous to run among which two outcome from the ‘Runts’ he wants to offoffshoot and butcher. We are complexiond aftercited a period his indecision coupled aftercited a period his incorporation from the footing he is establishd in. One of the outcome whose zeal is history rund bursts into veneration, and aftercited a period a close-up shot of his complexion we are forthdelay drawn to his farthest trepidation of the footing he is in, as courteous as his age, which could not be aggravate than 5 years old. The slip office who pulls the trigger. ‘Steak and Frites’, is succeeding portrayed in the offspring of the challenge crew history questioned as to why he wants to be confused in the crew hostilities, and says: “I steam, I snort. I entertain butchered and denied. I’m a man“. At the exit of the film when the Runts entertain slaughtered Ze and are sift-canvassing how they achieve accept aggravate his concern and beseem the leaders of the favela, their scarcity of counsel is haughtylighted when one of the clump asks for the purposes of creating a hit schedule of those they design to slaughter ‘who neighboring knows how to transcribe?’ and one of them responds ‘a little’. Either these outcome entertain had no similarity to counsel, or aggravate solicitous aftercited a period their fife in the favela attend teaching to be an uncalled-for sever of zeal.

An great complexion of the fashion in which the film is shot, and a officeistic for which the film has ordinary ample censure, is that of incorporation. How the apprehensioner arrive-ats towards the acts of fury and the offices they are explicit upon is a similitude for how collection in Rio de Janeiro arrive-ats towards the favelas- unemotional, disunited, disconnected. That what happens incause the favela is their own concern and does not relish those who speed aftercited a periodout. The superiority of offices in the film are presented in a one dimensional fashion and are not portrayed vaulting passion. Thus when they are slaughtered they beseem another compute of the extensive headcount in the film. Characters are filmed from a interdistance and the scarcity of facial close-ups imbues the apprehensioner aftercited a period this wisdom of passional incorporation. The one qualification to this is relateal of the crewster Benny, Lil Ze’s best coadjutor, who runs he wants a zeal outcause of wrong and the favela. We apprehension him preventing Ze from offshooting those who owe him currency, his mercy in letting demolishow-creatures out of debts owed to him, his covet to imkeep-apart Rocket a camera to prosecute his dreams, and close spectacles aftercited a period his girlfriend. When Benny is butchered by an addict and thus prevented from leaving the favela we are confronted aftercited a period the simply avail of self-condemnation in the film; this is the simply avail wneighboring Ze pretences passion, wneighboring the camera shots tarry at the spectacle of the cessation, and wneighboring the apprehensioner is in a wisdom instructed to arrive-at mourning for his dropping. His cessation is too supreme in portraying the inaptitude of opposed to be a good-tempered-tempered office amid or opposed to concession the zeal of the favela.

The ultimate key disquisition of the film I would relish to sift-canvass is that of police deterioration in Rio, which is perspicuously portrayed in the film as gross to the fife of offal melodys and proliferation of similarity to weapons. At the summit of the film when the two challenge offallords Lil Ze and ‘Carrot’ are smitten by police, we corroboration two great incidents: Carrot is kept in guardianship by the police who say he achieve be a ‘present for the media’, inasmuch-as Ze is let go and through Rocket’s camera lens we see that police entertain been providing him aftercited a period weapons and offals in rerotate for currency.

Favela Rising

On August 30th 1993, a clump of closely 30 masked officers from Brazil’s Policia Militar entered the favela Vigario Geral and using agent guns and influence grenades butchered 21 residents, including 8 members of an evangelical Christian source incause their abode (NYT 1993). Henceforth known as the Vigario Geral Massacre, this was said to be in vengeance for the slaughter of four policemen at the influences of the Comando Vermelho offal combination diverse days prior.

Day to day zeal amid favelas is frequently referred to as wartime in a propound negotiatively at concord. Residents are conversant to daily gun battles and history beneath the moderate of the fortified offal combinations.

Police deterioration is apprehensioned by divers as the original-rate discuss this war is cogent to accept establish. As portrayed in City of God and Favela Rising, and as told by favela residents beneath confabulation, Brazil’s soldierly police stipuadvanced the weapons to offal combinations, and mature the trafficking of offals in and out of the favelas. A 1993 depredation of an armoured van in Sao Paolo perpetrated by member’s of Comando Vermelho was endow to entertain been practicefficacious using metal penetrating bullets from effortshort weapons legally availcogent simply to the Policia Militar. (NYT 1993). The munimentary XXXX pretences film footage of police ecstasying weapons into the favela.

Violence amid a Political Democracy

Brazil’s soldierly dictatorship ended in 1985 aftercited 20 years of government, besides beneath the democracy divers Brazilians arrive-at short certain. (Caldeira) Gone republican government, police fury has reached dubious intentiones and incidents mark solemn suspension of democracy, aftercited a period haughty intentiones of passionate wrong, police wrongs over citizens, and ethnical hues abuses a regular transaction. Open quantity in Rio de Janeiro is frequently officeised by assaults of opposed types, muggings, and generally-known lawlessness, creating a anthropologicalization of trepidation and jealousy (Caldeira). Policies attempting to bmelody fury beneath moderate, such as Operação Rio in 1994 wneighboring soldierly police were sent into the city on a preponderance layer, are replacing republican initiatives at severicularize intentione aftercited a period assumption of courteous appoint in an episodic fashion. Open estimation polls endow generally-known patronage for the production, aftercited a period a generally-known lie that reported culpables should not be matter to the identical ethnical hues conventions as regular citizens (Caldeira). Fury over courteousians in favelas should too be attended a scarcity of democracy to guard their hues.

Violence towards favela community can be seen as the outcome of a compound of open lies towards culpable zeal and average and conspicuous dispose lies towards favela community coupled aftercited a period a police regularity which issueively serves simply the aristocracy. Open lie plays a extensive role in the politics of policing and providing support (or scarcity thereof) to favelas. Volunteer worker XXXX in the film Bus 174 spoke of the open estimation polls in relevancy to the police offshooting of 8 street outcome at Candelaria, wneighboring demolishow-creatures said the offshootings were a existent incident, and that “collection demands to be cleaned of this dirt“.



Development of Brazil’s Courtly Spaces

Industrialisation in Brazil began in the existing 20th era and has constantly had presageificant links aftercited a period courtlyisation, instantly influencing the mixture and extrication of the courtly network. The chief courtly principals of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo ordinary the extensivest amounts of investment dumelody the sequence of Brazil’s economic crop, outcomeing in preponderance amounts of locomotion from pastoral areas. The National Census in the year 2000 (IGBE) munimented 82% of Brazil’s 174 favorite residents speed in cities. Furthermore, 80% of the solidty population speed in 25% of the corporateities, indicating robust spatial tension. (Xavier).

Despite history one of the aggravate great economic principals of Brazil (concertedly aftercited a period Sao Paolo constituting 20% of Brazil’s GDP (Acioly) ) the metropolitan portion of Rio De Janeiro is notable by perceptible gregarious and productivees disparities among community. The demands of low pay families uncogent to extend schism and stay in favelas and uncostly fix on the enclosure of the city average natural extensive volumes of transit of community among the enclosure and the principal, wneighboring they entertain similarity to encroachment and services, creating strict socio-spatial stratification at the metropolitan intentione. In the 1990’s, confronted aftercited a period increasing gregarious tensions and the recession of the solid propound, favelas and low schism fix became the convergence of fury, aftercited a period offal trafficking establishing a ability analogous to negotiative topical moderates, to the inconvenience of corporate regulations and law. The resident’s associations (AM’s) which were very erratic in the 1980’s demolish beneath natural shuddering and trepidation, and were frequently naturally in the principal of offshoot-outs among crews and police.

Hiromance of Favelas in Rio

The Portuguese endowed Rio de Janeiro in 1565 and by the end of the 16th era the hilled portions of the city were already really filled. Swamplands excluded the hills were drained and shortly too attracted settlers. Until the advanced 18th era the chief crop of the dispensation was sugarcane accruen on the peripheries of Rio, which extremely influenced the spatial composition of the city. (Xavier). Aftercited the resubsidence of the Portuguese Royal source to Rio in 1808 and the naming of Rio as the principal of Brazil, the population increased 25%, 50% of whom were slaves. (Xavier). Tneighboring was a demand for explanation of housing for the haughtyer pay migrants and Portuguese aristocracy, aftercited a period offsprings built closer to the enclosure of the city, shaping the arisening of the patterns of dissimilarity in Rio as productive and thin speedd disconnectedly and in extremely opposed standards of housing yet amid the identical city principal.

In 1888 compulsion was abolished and freed workers from the coffee intentiontations migrated in extensive computes to Rio. The vocable ‘favela’ originated in the foremost low pay occupation to be manufactured in the city principal, markd Morro da Providência and succeeding “Morro da Favela“ by residents who were primarily ex military and ex-slaves whom were not capcogent of integration into the city’s dispensation. (Xavier). Government initiatives to modernise Rio led to extensive low pay residential areas including those on hillsides history demolished, displacing predominantly the city’s thin and forcing them elevate to the peripheries to resettle.

By limitation a favela is a squatter colony, usually self-built by its community illegally on fix scarcitying any infracomposition and aftercited a periodout any courtly intention for its crop. The ultimate negotiative price for the compute of favelas in Rio de Janeiro was 605 (PCRJ, IPP) but unnegotiative prices recognize that 100 aggravate entertain arisen gone then. The normal subsidence of favela explanation is hillcause areas, though in the 21st era they entertain increasingly been built in swampy fix areas such as neighboring the haughtyer pay Barra de Tijuca dilution zone. (Xavier 8)

Rio’s foremost courtly intention was familiar in the advanced 1920’s, markd Intention Agache, aftercited a segregated functionaschedule energy to organise the city (Xavier). In this intention the southern seacoastcause areas of Ipanema, Leblon and Gavea were sly for the conspicuous disposees, period the agoing disposees were relegated to the environs, and the foremost intentions for solidty extirpation of the favelas were made. This was the foremost negotiative muniment to relate favelas as a collection which must be eradicated; they were apprehensioned as an ‘epidemic’ which was blighting the most tall-priced fix in Rio. As a outcome of this foremost courtly intention dividing inferior, average and conspicuous disposees into perspicuous sections of the city, the simply discretion left for the thin who did not fit these categories was to propel into squatter colonys, either on the city precincts or in hazardous and for-this-reason undesircogent subsidences such as abrupt hillsides. Alongcause the explosive population accrueth and industrialisation of the aftercited decades, Rio’s ecstasy and housing regularitys were uncogent to contend aftercited a period the stir in migrants to the city, qualitative to the increasing sprecognize of favelas into the city principal into environmentally brittle areas such as the hillsides separating the conspicuous dispose environs.

Living stipulations in Rio vault qualificationally thin arrangement, demonstrated by the discrepancies in stay stipulations among the productive and the thin. Tneighboring is a haughty intentione of socio-spatial unevenness, aftercited a period pay history collected in a miniscule relation of the population; the thinest 50% of Rio’s population merit simply 13% of its pay, period 12% of pay is merited by the productiveest 1%. (IPEA).

The gregarious unevenness stipulated in Rio de Janeiro is not appliccogent simply to the natural make-up of the city but in the gregarious conformation. Those located in the enclosure in a natural wisdom are not simply spatially remote; level when located in the principal of the city nest to a haughty pay precinct, the favelas are in opposition aftercited a period the “formal city“. (Xavier). This unevenness resonates in the involved quotidianity of zeal for favela residents, who appoint 17% of Rio’s 5.8 favorite residents according to the 2000 census (IGBE).


Telles (1995) in his con-over of the structural sources of socioeconomic dissimilarity in Brazilian metropolitan areas concludes that the space of courtlyisation and predominantly population extent is the key to beneathstanding socioeconomic spatial inequalities in Brazil, and explains the superiority of variations in dissimilarity among opposed metropolitan areas. In dividing up pay and course clumps in Rio de Janeiro established on axioms from the 1980 census of Brazil it can be perspicuously seen that tneighboring is the lowest relation of non-white offspringholds in the extensivest pay clump, and this percentage accrues relationately as the pay intentiones are inferiored. Due to issues of course and dispose history robustly corakin in Brazil, dissimilarity (endow to be extensivest among Rio’s inferior and average disposees) beseems racialised. Thus racial dissimilarity is severially limited by the haughtyer computes of non-whites in thiner socio-economic clumps. Besides in the local event of Rio, Telles finds dispose identities to be robuster than racial identities, and this is explained by Rio’s severicular spatial factors, for in the peculiar mountainous fixscape which played a sever in the shape of Rio’s favelas.


  • Xavier, Helia Nacif & Magalhaes, Fernanda (2003) Courtly Slums Report: The Event of Rio de Janeiro Reason Slums: Event Studies for the Global Report on Ethnical Settlements UN
  • IPEA/PCRJ/PNUD (2000), Relatório de Desenvolvimento Urbano – A distribuição de renda na cidade do Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, RJ
  • Prefeitura da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro PCRJ, IPP (2000) Anuário Estatístico da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro 1998, Instituto Pereira Passos, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
  • Website:

News Articles

  • Brooke, James: 21 Shot unconscious in Rio Slum; Policemen are Reported New York Times Section A p3 Column 1 August 30 1993

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