City of Men (DVD)

City of Men is the sequel to City of God, the 2003 film that gave the best director award to Fernando Meirelles. In much the same way, Meirelles goes back to Brazil, to the inner city (favelas), showing hopw different this part of Brazil is from the typical American city. In this area, gangs and violence are the way of life, rather than an aberration. Regardless of what happens in the larger society, there are still compelling and classic stoires to be had.

This means, that much like a rose growing through the cracks in concrete, that there can be sense of duty and devotion to one’s family that outstrips gang affiliation. Enter Laranjiha (Darlan Cuha) and Acerola (Douglas Silva), two youths that are looking for different things in life. While both are looking for some completion to their lives (Acerola is now a father, attempting to create a better life for eir son, while Laranjinha is attempting to find the father that has always been absent from eir life). The lives of both individuals become more intertwined when they are called forth to participate in a gang war, and something comes forth that will rock the friends forever. There is one bonus feature on the DVD, being “Building A City of Men”. This featurette is integral in linking together the two movies, and giving viewers some sort of information for how to properly view City of Men in the larger context of City of God. City of Men is a compelling tale that will have viewers putting the disc back in; here’s to hoping that Buena Vista comes forth and releases episodes from the show that took place after the original film in the months and years to come.

The show itself builds off of the events that took place in City of Men, but don’t let that seem as if City of Men itself is inherently missing something. Meirelles’ effort here is self-contained, laying out intricate and detailed stories and motivations for every character that is in any sense a major character in the movie. While it will still be seen if Meirelles’ next work, an adaption of the 1995 work Blindness by Jose Saramago, will be as good as City of Men, viewers can always come back to the twin tour de forces that are City of Men and City of God.

Rating: 8.3/10

City of Men / 2008 Buena Vista Home Entertainment / 106 Minutes / /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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