City of God
In the latter half of 2002 a movie was released that was nominated for four Oscars, won acclaim from critics worldwide, and ended up winning 21 various awards from some of the most prestigious organizations in the film community. (www.imdb.com) City of God had such an impact that even the president of Brazil "reviewed and praised City of God as a needful call for change," (Ebert) due to its frighteningly real parallels with everyday life in Rio's slums, known as "favelas." (Pierce) City of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, (www.imdb.com) displays certain themes throughout its progression that contribute to the films emotional appeal. One of these important themes in City of God is that of innocence and the obviously apparent lack of it in the slums of Rio. During the first scene in the movie, the main character is simple strolling through the city with his friend, and then all of a sudden he's caught in the middle of the police and the gang, showing the precarious balance between life and death that face the residents of the slums. At another point in the movie, a woman rejects Lil Zé when he asks her to dance, because she tells him that she is here with someone already. A minute later, Lil Zé sees the woman again, this time dancing with her date, "Knockout Ned", and he feels compelled to humiliate the man by making him strip in front of everyone at gunpoint while he laughs in the mans face. Shortly after this incident occurs, Knockout Ned and his date are walking down the street when Lil Zé and his cronies walk up behind the two of them, and restrain Ned while they rape the woman. In a scene that critic Octavio Roca calls "the emotional climax of the film," a young boy is given the option of being shot in the hand or the foot, because Lil Zé feels that the boy needs to know whose turf he is on. The boy, who it is noted has just been shooting people, breaks into sobs and brings the audience back in a hard way to the fact...
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