Discuss the film narrative in the City of God

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Discuss the film narrative in the City of God

Fernado Meirelles’ City of God (Cidade de Deus 2002) tells the story of the growth of the drug trade in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. As Macelo Melo (2004) states that it appeared to be the on that finally succeeds in putting into practice the ‘retaking project’ – a film that directly communicates to the average audience, has full command of contemporary editing and photographic techniques, and social conscience. Besides, City of God has an Achilles’ heel that it’s few detractors attack: for instance, the exploitation of poverty, in other word, the aesteheticisation of the harsh realities of Brazil’s slums. This essay will tend to highlight the importance of areas in film narrative through which we comprehend a film. Many different sequences the film has been focused on and presented; and on the ways in which film narration, unfolds and in forms mise-en-scene.

The opening sequence of the chicken run is an important scene as a film narrative in terms of temporal reordering and temporal narration at the end sequence where Rocket assumes a new dominance as narrator in the story itself, presenting his own story. The spectator is accompanied Rocket, a key figure in the task of dealing with a great number of characters that appear and disappear in the course of the plot. Rocket’s narration in voice-over has an explanatory tone, always introducing new characters or didactically explaining the dynamics of the drug trade in the slum. He does not ultimately get involved with crime. Along the way, the film constantly shifts narrative genres, with most of the ‘normal’. Non-violent, moments associated with Rocket: there is a charmingly comic moment in which his friends dropped their plan to rob a bus, because the fare collector was so cool and kind that they can’t bear to cause trouble for him. This story is not an in person narrator but more of an auto biography, in terms of time at the end of the sequence according to the temporal narration because it is changing in time. Thus the temporal organisation of the plot creates suspense by withholding information, and not just because we have to go through the entire film, in order to understand its elusive beginning. Even the events that occur in mid narrative—such as a bloodbath that takes place during a motel robbery—sometimes can come in to focus later.

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The story essentially begins at the end, as we see the character we will come to know as “Rocket” (played by a wonderful Alexandre Rodrigues) trapped between a line of gangsters and a line of cops. The film flashes back in Rocket’s childhood in the 1960s for us to understand why he was running as if for dear life. As the film makes its way back to the beginning, it reveals how Rocket’s relationship with the drup dealers grew, how he coped with the death of family and friends, how his interest in photography developed. He provides the eyes ...

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It is good that this controversy has been noted, but more is required: some reflection upon the difference between realism and reality, or the wider debate about the representation of violence in film, for instance. A couple of quotes from two newspaper film critics does NOT constitute thorough research into, and reference of, the wider debates concerning the representation of violence in popular media...