City of God Post Modernism

Released in 2002, City of God is a very postmodernism film. The film takes place in the dangerous slums of Brazil. There are many protagonists that are focused on. The structure is far from classical filmmaking and like Sunset Boulevard, is bookended. There are vivid flashbacks along with different perspectives. One example is when Rocket’s brother decides to rob a hotel. This scene is shot in two different ways. The first time is when Rocket’s brother and friends go in. They leave behind, Lil Z. They instruct him that if the police arrive to shoot out a sign. During the robbery the sign is shot and the group escapes. Later in the film the audience views Lil Z’s perspective. It is revealed that he went into the hotel and killed innocent people. There are multiple points of view in City of God. Another example is when the story of the apartment is shown. The film essentially stops to showcase the history of an apartment. It is actually a very interesting and a memorable scene that provides a substantial amount of information on supporting characters and backstory. Postmodernism films tend to emulate other films. City of God is very similar to Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Casino. They include Gangs and crime and the narratives are very similar. All three films contain a protagonist narrating over film providing backstory and information on the characters. Rocket is heard far more than he is seen in the film. Henry Hill was present and took part in many of the events of Goodfellas, Rocket is somewhat insignificant in City of God and his information is not first hand. In the end Lil Z is killed but this only provides some closure. Lil Z’s murderers are kids bound to follow in his footsteps, so current problem was resolved but a new one is hot on the heels.


One thought on “City of God Post Modernism

  1. Good analysis. This was a good film, although i got lost and confused at certain times because of the multiple viewpoints. But when watching it a second time I understood way more of the story’s narrative. It was unique and surprisingly effective. Good review.


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