The street is lit but deserted, the minibus pulls up and an old lady steps heavily out, the bus drives on and she slowly turns and sits down to contemplate what she has lost, everything.
The old lady is Wallace’s and Madrugadão’s grand mother, she has just watched her home in the favela burn after being kicked out when Madrugadão, the Favela boss, is driven out by Defasto, his former henchman.
It is scenes like this that put City of Men, a film based on the TV series (of the same name) based on the film City of God, above the highly acclaimed original.
Shot in luscious colour, with the Cidade maravilhosa a sweeping backdrop to the gritty alleyways of the favela’s, where the residents and gangs live out their lives.
Following on from the TV series, Acerola (Ace) and Wallace (Laranjinha) are back, fast approaching their eighteenth birthdays. One is searching for his father while the other one struggles to cope with being one, and their long, close frienship is stretched to breaking point when Wallace’s re-union with his father has unexpected consequences. As a turf war erupts following the expulsion of Madrugadão, it’s effects are felt all over the favela, and spill, on occasion, onto the ‘Asphalt’ below.
I’m not a big film watcher, but I loved this film, and it’s soundtrack, and thought I would pay my own small written homage to it.