City of God

5 February 2002130 min,

If you run, you're dead... if you stay, you're dead again.


Buscapé was raised in a very violent environment. Despite the feeling that all odds were against him, he finds out that life can be seen with other eyes...

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Cast & Crew

Fun Facts of Movie

  • Leandro Firmino (Zé Pequeno) really was from the City of God and had no ambitions to be an actor, he only went to the audition to keep his friend company.
  • When we hear Buscapé (Alexandre Rodrigues) talking to Marina (Graziella Moretto) about how “he never took a hot bath”, that was not scripted. Actually, that was Rodrigues and Moretto talking off camera, during a pause in the shooting, when the boy (who lived on the slums) was telling her about his life.
  • All the amateur actors were recruited from “favelas” (slums) in Rio de Janeiro, and a couple of them–Buscapé/Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues), for example–actually lived in the Cidade de Deus (City of God) itself.
  • The scene where the gang prays before the war was not scripted. During the shooting a young boy, who used to be in a real gang, asked director Fernando Meirelles if the group was not going to pray like they always did before any important confrontation with their enemies. Meirelles told him to lead the prayer as they shot the scene.
  • When Knockout Ned (“Mané Galinha” in the Brazilian original) kills someone for the first time, some people who live in the City of God approach him and congratulate him on the killing. The first woman to talk to him was played by the mother of the real Knockout Ned.
  • The director was quoted as saying that if he knew the dangers of filming the movie in a Rio favela, he wouldn’t have done the movie.
  • The correct translation of the names is:
    • Buscapé = Rocket (literally: foot-seeker, a firecracker type)
    • Zé Pequeno = Little Zé (Zé comes from José = Joseph)
    • Dadinho = Little dice
    • Cabeleira = Big Hair/Shaggy
    • Mané Galinha = Chicken Mané (Does not imply a coward in Portuguese slang, but usually means “Womanizer”) Mané is short for Manuel
    • Alicate = Pliers
    • Barbantinho = Little string
    • Cabeção = Big Head
    • Filé-com-Fritas = Steak with fries
    • Paraíba = Paraíba is the name of a state in the north east of Brazil, the state where the character comes from
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