City of God





City of God

City of god is a movie directed by Fernando Marseilles. It has received numerous accolades and recognition from the Brazilian nation. It has been termed as the greatest foreign film to receive such international recognition. It narrates a story of life in the Favelas, thus clearing the marginality that separates them from the international public eye. The various themes portrayed in the film validate the major issues that arise from poverty, lack of proper infrastructure and an education system.


The plot is developed around two characters, Lil Ze and Rocket who lived the childhood lives in Cidade de Deus. The two characters experienced the same problems growing up but end up choosing different lifestyles. They represent certain characteristics. Lil Ze represents dismay, as he grows to become one of the most feared and dangerous drug dealers in the Favela. On the other hand, Rocket represents hope as he pursues his passion in photography. In terms of planning the structure of a society, the movie plays a crucial role in depicting the catastrophic effects of a disorganized societal system. The issues that arise result from poor planning and include the lack of social mobility, public housing, and urban crime and youth gangs.

Urban Crime and Youth Gangs

The atrocity committed by the gangs depicts this city as the most unattractive place to dwell. In a personalized manner, the movie presents the division between the gangs and the catastrophic effects of fights between them on the residents. The drug trade solidifies the gang members as they from the trade and gain control over other gangs. The wars that take place between gangs are provoked by the drug trade. The drug addiction rampant in gangs is a worldwide problem that has led to deaths of the youth. They represent the reality that cannot be ignored, not only to the Brazilians but worldwide. The crimes committed by the gangs range from robbery massacres in hotels to robbing gas trucks that would later be sold to the locals for their daily use. The gangs have money to purchase guns and ammunition to fight against each other.

Lack of Social and Economic Mobility

Social and economic mobility is evidently lacking in this type of society. The disparities that exist between the gangs illustrate the deterioration of the social mobility. The people in Rio lack means through which they can progress as a community. This confirms the fact that the status quo is maintained. The lack of progress is owed to the high level of crime rates, poor education systems and facilities, high insecurity and the numerous deaths of youth in the community who are supposed to be the future leaders. This type of social immobility is also illustrated in other movies that are aimed at pinpointing the disintegration that is prevalent in developing cities. In the movie “Blade runner”, Los Angeles is portrayed as a city with mist swirls, rubbish pile-ups, disintegrated infrastructure that make the potholes (Harvey 311). The condition present in the slum does not offer any chance of redemption for its residents. The residents, who have attempted to live a better life or search for one, have been assassinated by the gangs who practically rule the city. This scenario relates to the replicants in the movie Blade Runner where they are retired when they try to develop a human connection. Similar to the population in City of God, the replicants are ruled over by the likes of Deckard. He is responsible of retiring replicants that engage their own feelings and try to develop their own capacities in their own way (Harvey 311). This means that for one to establish a better life for them, one has to move out of the Favela as Rocket finally does.

Importance of Education

            A society that values education of its generations is guaranteed success and economic development. It acts as the driving force of a nation. Rio represents cities that are still under development thus education should be paramount on its list. However, the movie portrays education as a less significant factor. The main characters, Lil Ze and Rocket offer two contradicting sides on how they value education. Rocket’s main goal is to establish himself through getting education and become a successful journalist while this is quite contrary to Lil Ze’s opinion on schooling. Ze lacks any regard for education and engages in a life of crime oblivious of any educational skills that may assists him later on in life. Due to lack of basic education, the intellect portrayed by the characters in the movie is poor as most of them are content with the ignorant state they find themselves. The children throng the streets engaging in criminal activities instead of being in classrooms being educated as their counterparts in other developing cities. Education is regarded as a motivation for economic growth (Macionis and Parillo 399). In a state or city with educated people, however much the populations guaranteed success in their business ventures. Education allows a people to learn how to plan their city. An example is Japan; a nation invests heavily in the education system that has played a crucial role in the urbanization of country. It faced disdain from the American populous as they felt that the products of this nation are unreliable and fake (Macionis and Parillo 401). This later changed year with most of the electronics in America being imported from Japan, this illustrates the evolution of urbanization that was much needed in the Rio.

In conclusion, the film clearly defines the state of some towns and cities globally. The same challenges are met with the movie characters acting as a representation of the people living in these cities. The role of the movie is to illustrate the great importance of planning of towns and cities in order to ensure their development.

Works Cited:

Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Cambridge: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Print.

Macionis, John J, and Vincent N. Parrillo. Cities and Urban Life. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.

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