City of Men 

Directed by Paulo Morelli

Where City of God plunged audiences headfirst into the terrifying gang warfare in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, City of Men, its companion piece, focuses on the relationships of those struggling to survive in its midst. Ace and Wallace (Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha), best friends who’ve both just turned 18, must come to terms with the complicated notion of fatherhood in a place where most children grow up without a father. Director Paulo Morelli subtly and beautifully depicts the consequences of their adolescent capriciousness in a community where loyalty can mean the difference between survival and death. Wallace searches for his absent father and a sense of belonging away from the gangs that rule the favela, and carefree Ace struggles to be a good father for his toddler son. Soaring, light-saturated views of the swarming hills of Rio combine with cinematographer Adriano Goldman’s urgent hand-held shots to place the audience squarely amid the frenetic pace of daily life in the Dead End Hill slum. The film’s focus on the humanity of the slum's inhabitants makes the violence that dictates their lives all the more unbearable, and their survival all the more miraculous.


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