City of God (2002)

2002 City of God Cidade de Deus Movie Film Cinema Poster ArtA masterpiece from Brazil, 2002’s City of God follows a group of youths growing up in a crime-ridden slum outside Rio de Janeiro. This film is shocking, thrilling, frightening and humorous. The incredible cinematography, gripping story and wonderful characters will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

Part tender coming-of-age film, part gang-warfare epic, City of God is based on the novel by Paulo Lins. Lins grew up in the notorious Cidade de Deus favela (slum).

Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s direction is mastery. Their adaptation of Lins’s novel is given forceful authenticity by recruitment of approximately one hundred children and youths mostly from favelas around Rio. Alexandre Rodrigues, who plays the lead character in the film, was actually from Cidade de Deus. The only professional actor with years of filming experience was Matheus Nachtergaele.

Universally acclaimed for its stark, visceral honesty in depicting organised crime in Rio de Janeiro, City of God is essential viewing.


You can find more information on this Portuguese-language movie on Wikipedia and IMDb.

As always, we recommend you don’t ruin any surprises by reading spoilers or watching this trailer:


Title: Cidade de Deus

Language: Portuguese

Direction: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund

ScreenplayBráulio Mantovani

Cinematography: César Charlone

Editing: Daniel Rezende

Score: Ed Cortês, Antonio Pinto

Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Alice Braga, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Jonathan Haagensen, Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge, Roberta Rodrigues, Graziella Moretto, Luis Otávio, Michel de Souza, Renato de Souza, Jefechander Suplino, Edson Oliveira, Emerson Gomes, Daniel Zettel, Darlan Cunha, Charles Paraventi, Luiz Carlos Ribeiro Seixas, Maurício Marques, Thiago Martins


Full Acting Cast and Roles

Katia Braulio Cesar Otavio Mauricio Cortes

About Shimky

Hi there! I hope you like some of Wonderful Cinema's recommendations. Please leave us a comment and recommend a film or two for us to watch. Thanks and all the best, Shimky.


  1. Shimky,
    I thank you for the information. This is marvellous.

  2. Utterly awesome and so beautifully filmed.

  3. Amazing film, would love to read the book.

  4. This film is good. I found it quite original.

  5. Mo

    Thanks for visiting/liking my post. Have enjoyed reading through your reviews and am now feeling inspired! But what to watch first?! Perhaps we will start with this film since we start our family gap year in Rio de Janiero in a few weeks:) Although I hope it won’t make us too fearful of visiting the city!!

  6. Flav_Holman

    I love this movie, very good choice.

  7. This is an excellent film gripping and well filmed.

  8. Paulo Lins has a new book out, Desde que o samba é samba. I haven’t read it yet– Rio has changed a great deal since City of God. You may want to learn more on my blog–

  9. Having lived in Rio, and nearly surrounded by Favellas, this is a very realistic film!
    Thank you for the review, and I highly recommend this film. Many Favellas just grew
    into themselves, but others are like Projects… artificially created… and
    Cidade de Deus is one of those.

  10. Excellent work my friend 🙂

  11. Pingback: City of God « imdestiny

  12. I’ve seen the movie, loved it. had to watch it twice to fully understand the whole thing.

  13. The cruelty in this film was beyond me. I watched until the kid was told to shoot another kid…. that was enough for me. Oh, and I live in Rio.

    Thanks for following my blog.


  14. soundaroundlondon

    lovely blog, nice selection of films

  15. One of the best movies ever about one part of Brazil. One part!

  16. it is ver gripping. good film. good review.

  17. This movie is absolutely incredible. By the way nice blog with an amazing selection of movies.

  18. Great film, but it’s a kick in the guts. Loved the book too.

  19. Awesome and unique movie. I really learned a lot about the world view from this. I was glad I saw it and should see it again…

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