Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 1 decade ago

The movie The City of God is based on a true story does anybody know the true story that help made this movie?

Who was the real life LIL ZE, Knockout NED, BENNY ?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    City of God (Portuguese: Cidade de Deus) is a Brazilian film, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. It was adapted by Bráulio Mantovani from the novel City of God (1997) written by Paulo Lins which, both the film and the book, are based on a true story; the war between Knockout Ned and Li'l Zé is based on their real life counterparts. It was directed by Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles. It stars Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Jonathan Haagensen, Douglas Silva, and Seu Jorge. The tagline is "Fight and you'll never survive..... Run and you'll never escape."

    Most of these actors had never acted before, and were, in fact, residents of favelas such as Vidigal and the Cidade de Deus itself.

    The film received four Academy Award nominations in 2004: Best Cinematography (César Charlone), Best Directing (Meirelles), Best Editing (Daniel Rezende) and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) (Mantovani). Before that, in 2003 it had been chosen to be Brazil's runner for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but it was not nominated to be one of the five finalists.

    In September 2004, a nine-part spin-off series, City of Men, was released on DVD, and broadcast on BBC4.

    Plot and/or ending details follow.

    Alex Rodrigues as RocketTaking place over the course of a few decades, City of God tells the story of two parallel lives from Cidade de Deus (Portuguese for City of God), a lower class quarter in the west of Rio de Janeiro, whose names are Rocket and Li'l Dice; Rocket (whose real name is revealed to be Wilson Rodrigues) comes from a fishmonger's home, where his family sold fish in the quarter, while Li'l Dice grows up in a gang of hoodlums who kill and steal. The film begins close to the end of story and moves back two decades, and has other flashbacks along the way back to the end.

    While both Rocket and Li'l Dice grow up amidst much violence and despair, each takes a different path. As the years progress, the characters go through a series of changes. Li'l Dice changes his name to Li'l Zé, becomes one of the most violent gangsters in the City of God as he starts up his own gang, kills many rivals, and makes many enemies. Rocket witnesses much of this, as he develops an interest in photography and wishes to use it to escape the violence of his environment.

    Their paths cross at many points in the film: Rocket's older brother is murdered by Li'l Zé when they are just children; a mutual friend of Rocket and Li'l Zé is murdered as he attempts to leave the gangster life; Rocket's photos attract Li'l Zé's attention and Rocket is hired to be his photographer and his pictures are published in the newspaper; and Rocket is there to document the inevitable gang war that erupts between Li'l Zé and his rivals.

    Alexandre Rodrigues and Alice Braga in City of God

    [edit] Main characters

    Role Actor Description

    Buscapé (Rocket) Alexandre Rodrigues The main narrator and protagonist. A quiet, honest boy who dreams of becoming a photographer, and the only character who seems to keep his innocence during the gang wars.

    Zé Pequeno (Li'l Zé) Leandro da Hora An ultra-violent, psychopathic drug dealer who goes over dead bodies to fulfill his goals. Deeply insecure with women. When his only friend Bené is struck by fate, it drives him over the edge.

    Bené (Benny) Phellipe Haagensen Li'l Zé's longtime partner in crime, he is a friendly drug dealer of the City of God, a charismatic and philanthropic criminal who wants to become honest.

    Cenoura (Carrot) Matheus Nachtergaele A smaller scale drug dealer who is friendly with Bené but is constantly threatened by Zé.

    Mané Galinha (Knockout Ned) Seu Jorge A good-looking ladies' man with a beautiful girlfriend. When his girlfriend attracts Zé's eye, Zé rapes her and then proceeds to massacre Mané's family. In retaliation, Mané and Carrot join forces.

    [edit] Production background

    On the City of God bonus DVD, it is revealed that the only professional actor with years of filming experience was Matheus Nachtergaele, who played a supporting role. The rest of the actors were casted from real-life favelas, and in some cases, even the real-life City of God favela itself. From initially about 2000, about a hundred children and youths were hand-picked and placed into an "actors' workshop" for several months. In contrast to more traditional methods (e.g. studying theatre and rehearsing), it focused on simulating authentic street war scenes, such as a hold-up, a scuffle, a shoot-out etc. A lot came from improvisation, as it was thought better to create an authentic, gritty atmosphere. This way, the inexperienced cast soon learned to move and act naturally.

    Prior to City of God, the directors Lund and Meirelles filmed a short film Golden Gate as a sort of test run. Only after then, the final casting for City of God was finalized. The most remarkable choice was Leandro da Hora as Zé Pequeno, as da Hora was unanimously described as a quiet, uncomplicated soul, but now played the psychotic, ultra-violent drug dealer. Da Hora himself describes his character as "pretty unbalanced, greedy and acted without thinking in everything he did (...) I see him like a normal person, but someone who through the ironies of destiny took a wrong turn somewhere."

    Most of the cast members and extras from the film were chosen from the favela were the film was shot, many of which had no prior acting experience. After killing one of Zé Pequeno's (Lil Ze) gang, a group of people surround Mane Galinha (Knockout Ned) to congratulate him. The woman who spoke to him was the mother of the real life Mane Galinha.

    Appropriately, the film ends eavesdropping on the machinations of the "Runts" as they assemble their death list. The real gang, Caixa Baixa, which means rat boys and is rumored to have comprised such a list, later became the Commando Vermelho (Red Command) which is the gang that controls the City of God till this day. [1]

    [edit] Critical acclaim

    City of God received critical acclaim, garnering a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes [2] and was named 2003 Film of the Year by Empire magazine. It was nominated for Oscars in Cinematography, Directing, Adapted Screenplay and Editing, and won 48 other awards. [3]. Time Magazine listed it as one of the 100 greatest movies of all time.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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    The movie The City of God is based on a true story does anybody know the true story that help made this movie?

    Who was the real life LIL ZE, Knockout NED, BENNY ?

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  • 4 years ago

    Wilson Rodrigues

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    5 years ago

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    4 years ago

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