“City of God” and Urban Development


“City of God” is a complex and interesting film that provides a unique representation of urban development in a nation struggling for survival in some of its poorer areas. The story’s representation of urban decay and renewal are relevant because they demonstrate the impact of violence and its significant impact on a community in different ways. The film also provides a critical understanding of the different elements that contribute to the success of the film and its characterizations of violence and recovery within the Brazilian landscape. These efforts demonstrate that the film is comprised of a series of stark contrasts between good and evil and that these are well represented in the film and its story. The issues that many urban communities face are well emphasized in this film, as it depicts the most relevant concepts of urban drama that unfold during community-based customs and practices that impact these populations. From this perspective, it is important to recognize the daily experiences of these individuals and how they have influenced this group of people.


City of God” provides a unique depiction of a population group that is continuously challenged the status quo and who face loss, violence, and other challenges on a daily basis. The film’s depiction also provides a summary of the different elements that contribute to the different concerns that are evident in this group of people. However, the violence that is depicted also demonstrates the lack of acceptance of the change to the culture and the surrounding environment and the violence that ensued. In addition the film introduces the harsh realities of modern existence in a community that does not know much else other than a violent lifestyle, a group that is depicted by the creation of an environment that does not recognize much goodness due to poor treatment and limited circumstances due to their own fate as a less than desirable group. Within Rio de Janeiro, where the film takes place, there is often a focus on the positive areas of this large city and how these reflect urban renewal and advancement in different ways. However, this has led to less than stellar conditions with respect to the residents in less desirable areas of Rio de Janeiro, where the drug cartel runs rampant and violence is likely to create an environment of fear and terror.

The movie’s depiction of violence is very real and prominent and opens the viewer’s eyes to the many problems of urban communities that are difficult to manage and to overcome without significant changes. The continuous observance of gang violence is of critical importance in the film and depicts a group of people with little if any regard for human life and existence. This disregard is evident in many ways and also reflects a capacity to evaluate this population in the context of its behaviors and how they interfere with urban progress. However, their circumstances are somewhat self-limiting and do not do the population any real favors in terms of its ability to overcome violence and devastation in its wake. From a creative perspective, the film goes a long way in depicting the serious nature of violence and how it devastates communities, while also considering other factors that contribute to different outcomes for this population.

The filmmaker’s style and approach to the film are worthy of further discussion and demonstrate the impact of violence and how it intentionally devastates a community in different ways to accomplish the desired objectives of fear and panic in the population. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is significant opportunity for the community to experience violence on a daily basis, a continued commitment to chaos and destruction that cannot be undermined. In spite of the challenges and opportunities of urban development for Rio de Janeiro, some of its smaller communities represent a different story and are unable to overcome their own experiences to do better for themselves. The “City of God” so to speak is perhaps a figment of the viewer’s imagination because the viewer might consider this type of environment to be more idyllic and surreal in a good way rather than comprised of continuous exposure to violence and other negative circumstances. These findings suggest that this community must overcome its negativity to ensure that the safety of its residents are protected at all times rather than to continue their violent ways.

In an effort to understand this group within the film, it is evident that there are signs and symptoms of negativity that persist that also demonstrate the political motivations of this group and their response to societal expectations. In this context, it is important to recognize that no matter the type of acts that were committed, the community did not have any real protection against the negative aspects of the political machine. Therefore, it was evident that the community was not able to overcome its own fears and apprehension in an effort to lead lives of freedom and opportunity because it succumbed to the torturous experiences of limited freedom and growth that were strongly evident. In this capacity, it was also important to recognize the different perspectives that were evident in the film that emphasized the violence and destruction that took place throughout the community. From this perspective, members of this community had no means of escape and could not get away from the negativity that surrounded them in every possible way.

Within the film, the creation of an environment that embraced change and progress was strongly evident and depicted an opportunity to explore the many negative circumstances of this group of people. The violence that was part of daily living was a stark reminder that the community was essentially under siege and could not escape its negative circumstances and experienced in any way. As a result, the community faced critical challenges that could not easily be overcome because the wave of violence, negativity, and stigma was far too great to ignore. As a viewer of this film, the level of violence and lack of opportunity for these residents may lead to a number of negative perceptions regarding the drug cartel, gangs, and political rule; therefore, it is widely evident that there was no means of escape for members of this community.

The creativity of the film and its story direction lead the viewer down a violent and bloody path with little if any room for escape from the negative circumstances of their daily lives. Therefore, the film depicts helplessness and frustration in the “City of God” without any real clear means of escape. These circumstances reflect the director’s intent to characterize the people of this community as having no real futures without the realization of violence and negativity in their daily lives. This led to the creation of limited opportunities for growth and development and urban renewal within this community. With this framework in mind, the film conveys how truly ingrained violence was in the lives of the people and how they responded to different actions by using violence, not as a last resort, but as a means of survival. The “City of God” could be evaluated as a “City of Chaos” and was difficult to understand and to identify with from the average viewer’s own life experiences. However, this creates an environment that embraces hope as the key driving force for the people of the film and their desire to overcome negativity and violence in their daily lives and to experience some degree of positivity in the process.