City of God - Political Analysis

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City of God (2002) by Fernando Meirelles To a metallic sound accompanied by the rhythm of Latin American music a knife slides across a stone in the blink of an eye. This is how we are led into the successful film ‘City of God’ 2002. ‘City of God’ is Fernando Meirelles adaption of Paulo Lins ‘Cidade de Deus’ a novel based on real characters and experiences by the author who grew up in the notorious favelas Cidade de Deus of Rio de Janeiro. The favelas of Rio de Janeiro has existed since 1898 and was build and inhabited by Bahian veterans of the military campaign against the mystic rebel Antonio Conselheiro. The knowledge of the existence and the reality of the life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil have for most of the people of Brazil and the world been very inadequate. The favelas are officially not seen as part of Rio de Janeiro and until recently most favelas were ruled by gangs. Gangs which laid the laws and engaged in fire fight if security officials set their foot in their territory. When director Fernando Meirelles read ‘Cidade de Deus’ he was as many Brazilians shocked to find out how little he knew about his own country. As he says himself in an interview with ‘The Hollywood Interview’ “Brazil is really like two different Countries. It’s really like an apartheid in the country.” ”Let them kill each other” says a police officer in the ending of the film, which seems to have been the mentality of the authorities in Brazil for decades. In the 1960’s as part of a housing project, people from 23 favelas were moved into what was named Cidade de Deus (City of God) by the politicians themselves. Strongly neglected by the government the area became an ideal place for gangs to grow strong and it wasn’t long before security officials could not set their foot in the City of God without being murdered. “Let them kill each other” says the corrupt officer in
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