City of Men
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -4

Darlan Cunha, Douglas Silva, Rodrigo dos Santos. Foreign language drama from Brazil.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Two teenaged friends about to turn 18 are close as brothers until gang wars divide their loyalties. This sequel to the 2002 film City of God takes place in the hoodlum-ruled slums of Rio de Janeiro. Surrounded by beauty, the lives of those trapped in this community face a fierce war zone every day. In the midst of this violent world, these two friends search for a way out and the character to be better men than their fathers.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Not nearly as poignant as its predecessor, this violent and gloomy melodrama wallows in its tumultuous action. Its a portrait of people, full of wrath, seemingly content with a belief in the futility of life. They seem to just want the rest of the world to become like them, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Of course, thats not the story of the two protagonists. They sense that there is more to life than taking from others. And they find it when they realize true peace is owned when you look out for others. But we must undergo a great deal of rampage and savagery before the lesson comes home.

DVD Alternative: TSOTSI traces six days in the life of a young gang leader who steals a womans car unaware, in his panic, that her baby is in the back seat. A gritty contemporary portrait of ghetto life set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg townships, this affecting story is ultimately a redemptive tale of hope and the triumph of love over rage. Its a parable, a story about the seeking and finding of redemption. Though this young thug is full of rage and insecurity, enough to beat up an ally, threaten an old man in a wheelchair and shoot a hijack victim, he is mysteriously moved by this infant. And the longer he is around the baby, the more he opens up his heart. He even comes to an awareness of the need for forgiveness and salvation. I wont give the ending away, but the last shot is a symbolic illustration of a man surrendering his life. We know as we leave the theater that a miraculous change has occurred and we realize on the drive home that indeed, A child shall lead them. Caution: Its replete with violent imagery and mood, plus around 30 harsh curse words. But keep in mind; different audience members have different sensibilities. While some wont be reached by the films message due to the objectionables, there are those who will relate to the harsh realities portrayed and see past the brutality. As for those who dont have to struggle with poverty, ignorance and daily danger, well, maybe it will remind them to be compassionate and patient. It helped me in that area.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Miramax

Summary
Crude Language: Several crude sexual comments.
Obscene Language: I lost count within the first fifteen minutes. Suffice it to say, the film is replete with offensive language.
Profanity: Contains some profanity, but not near the amount as the obscene and harsh language of the violent street life.
Violence: People are brutalized, beaten, gunned down and live in fear of the night. Blood: Much bloodshed.
Sexual Intercourse: There are several sexual situations, some graphic, and several sexual conversations.
Nudity: I caught none.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Though poor, they manage to have drugs and guns. Many make their way by selling both.
Other: None
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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