30 April 2005 | mrl218
A More Realistic "City of God" with More Social Context
I saw this last night and thought it was brilliant and beautiful. It's like a deeper, more realistic version of "The City of God" with more social context. The audience applauded at the end of last night's showing, which hasn't happened too often at other festival showings I've been to.
Lucia Murat, the director, was there last night. She told us that both she and her husband were left-wing activists and political prisoners in the 1970s under the military rule. The prison part of the story is based partly on her and her husband's experience. She worked with the author of the book version of "City of God" to get nuances of the slum life right (Paulo Lins, author of "Cidade de Deus"). Many of the child actors in the movie actually live in the slums.
The use of non-linear narration, the interlacing of several stories from different time periods (like in "21 Grams"), is confusing at first. It's a little hard to keep track of who's who. But if you pay attention and bear with it for the first half hour, the confusion does clear up. I think this mixing of stories is done for more than just theatrics. It reminds us that these people from different worlds, rich and poor, black and white, are really related and interdependent.