Cidade dos Homens


Cidade dos Homens
Paulo Morelli, Brazil
2007, Fox/Globo et al.
106 minutes, Portuguese

LATAMROB rating: **

THE FAILURE of fatherhood in the favela is a perfectly reasonable theme through which to tackle the blighted conditions endured by young people caught in the crossfire of gang warfare in the overcrowded hillside slums of Rio. But Cidade dos Homens fails to live up to its well-meaning objective of offering hope and moral direction through a candid look at the travails of friends (Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha) growing up in the Brazilian city, and is very much second best in any comparison with its illustrious predecessor, City of God. Director Paulo Morelli and scriptwriter Elena Soarez have largely failed to avoid recreating the melodramatic flavour of the original TV Globo series from which the characters and stories emanate and have constructed a conventional narrative that, although rescued at times by the actors, remains more flat and featureless than the landscape it inhabits. EC