log in / register

City of God

Fernando Meirelles
Cidade de Deus
Brasil, France 2002 / 130’

Cidade de Deus is a housing project built in the 1960's that, in the early 80's became one of the most dangerous places in Rio de Janeiro. Fusée, too scared and too sensible to become a criminal, but too intelligent to work small jobs that pay badly. He grows up in this violent place where everything is against him. But he discovers that he can see reality differently: from an artist's point of view. He will eventually become a photographer. This, is his redemption.

Cannes IFF 2002


A bloody history of the drug scene in the oldest and most dangerous slum in Rio de Janeiro, set between the 1960s and 1980s. Young boys are already playing with guns in the dusty corners of a street called Cidade de Deus. Their examples, whom they try to emulate, are older friends from criminal street gangs. Whoever was born in the local favelas will also die here - probably sooner rather than later, and it will be a violent death. Buscapé is growing up in a truly brutal environment and, until he sees his friends through his camera lens for the first time, he has no idea that it might lead to his salvation. The idea of "another optical solution" becomes the means to transform himself from "actor" to observer: horrified, compassionate and unable to close his eyes before a hopeless world. This tough poetic drama inspired by Paul Lins' autobiographical novel became the most successful film at the Havana IFF in 2002. The film won the Vision Award at the Toronto IFF and the Audience Prize at the AFI FEST; it was also nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Foreign Film and its director was nominated for the European Film Prize. Film editor Daniel Rezendes won a BAFTA for his work.

Karlovy Vary IFF 2006

Fernando Meirelles was born in 1955 in Sao Paulo. He began to make experimental video films for his own company, Olhar Electronico, while studying architecture. Working with director Kátia Lund (who worked on the film Central Station (Central do Brasil), and fired by the success of this highly acclaimed, intense drama, he initiated a feature project combining his true desire for authenticity with a refined sense for visual experiment.

Selected filmography:

1998 O Menino Maluquinho II: A Aventura / The Nutty Boy 2 (współreż. / co-dir.)

1998 E no Meio Passa um Trem (kr.m. / short.)

2001 Służące / Domésticas / Maids

2000 Palace II / Golden Gate (kr.m. / short.)

2002 Miasto Boga / Cidade de Deus / City of God

2005 Wierny ogrodnik / The Constant Gardener

2008 Miasto ślepców / Blindness

Related articles

Official site