Director: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino
Plot: The film, which begins in the 1960s and ends in the early 1980s, follows the lives of Li'l Ze and Rocket, a young photographer who chronicles the decline of Cidade de Deus, against a backdrop of drugs, criminal rivalry and wanton violence.
The Runts portrayed in City of God would grow up to form the now feared Comando Vermelho or "Red Command," the most notorious gang in Rio. Like in the film, the CV is known to have a death list.
The scene where the gang prays before the war was not scripted. During shooting, a young boy, who was once in a real gang, asked Meirelles if the group was going to pray like they always did before any fight. Meirelles asked him to lead the prayer as they shot the scene.
The film was not actually shot in the Cidade de Deus, as it was too dangerous. It was shot in a neighboring, less dangerous area.
One of the only professional actors on the City of God set was Matheus Nachtergaele (who plays Carrot). Meirelles cast him despite only wanting amateurs. But the actor promised Mierelles he would disappear into his role. He moved to the real Cidade de Deus for three months before shooting to live with his authentic castmates and prepare.
Alice Braga, who played Rocket's love interest Angelica, went on to star opposite Will Smith in I Am Legend and credited City of God with launching her career.
Rubens Sabino da Silva, who played Blackie, was arrested for trying to rob a woman on a bus in 2003. He appealed for help from the film's director, claiming he received no money for his part.