It’s hard to believe that City of God, one of my favourite films of all time, is already 10 years old. Back in 2002 the film entered the spotlight out of nowhere, quickly acquiring the attention of both critics and audiences alike. An ode to some of the tragic occurrences in the favelas of Brazil, the film, directed by Fernando Meirelles, centred on two friends growing up in a violent part of Rio de Janiero who end up following different paths, one becoming a photographer and the other becoming a drug dealer.
One of the most endearing aspects of the film was its gritty realism, largely in part due to the fact that the majority of the cast were from real favelas and weren’t professionally trained actors. When the film was released and gained critical acclaim, winning over 55 awards and garnering over $30m at the box office, it was easy to see that it would change the lives of everyone involved, from those behind the camera to the actors themselves.
The new documentary City of God – 10 Years Later catches up with some of the talents, including Douglas Silva and Leandro Firmino who played Lil Zé at different ages, actress Alice Braga and actor/musician Seu Jorge, who played the unforgettable Knockout Ned, all of which talk about how the film changed their lives, whether for better, worse or not at all.
The full documentary will be released at the end of this year, but for now watch the emotional extended trailer below.