Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|City of Men|
Actors: Darlan Cunha, Douglas Silva, Phellipe Haagensen, Camila Monteiro, Jonathan Haagensen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
As Seen on the SUNDANCE CHANNEL From the team behind the Academy Award®-nominated feature CITY OF GOD, including directors Fernando Meirelles (THE CONSTANT GARDNER) and Kátia Lund comes the hit Brazilian television series... more »
A heart-warming show injected with tons of humor and persona
H. Ribeiro | Maryland, USA | 10/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cidade dos Homens is one of those shows that breaks your heart and at the same makes you feel like there's hope for some of the world's poorest people, os favelados in Brasil.
Cidade dos Homens (City Of Men) follows the two young men, Acerola and Laranjinha, as they live, survive and hustle in the favela. It's obvious that the boys are mischievous, and they get into many a scrape, but it's also clear that the boys have good hearts.
The cast of characters and life lessons taught and shown in the series bring a face to the suffering of the people in the favelas. When Espeto's girlfriend waits in line all night just to get her boyfriend a job sweeping streets, only to have him be turned down because he cannot read and write (as Espeto astutely points out: Why do I need to know how to read and write to sweep the streets?), we can see the chokehold bureaucracy and incompetence have on Brazilians.
Despite all these obstacles and roadblocks, Cidade dos Homens(City of Men) is full of smiles, joyful moments and lots of great music. It's a coming of age story, albeit one with a slightly different perspective."
Acerola and Laranjinha
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 12/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"City of Men is the story of best friends growing up in an especially interesting neighborhood, where one mistake could be your last. Through their teenage years, Acerola (Douglas Silva) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) learn how to handle responsibility, make the right choices and break through cultural barriers.
I found their stories fascinating, filled with real-life insight and lessons learned through on the edge of your seat realistic experience. Some of the ways they escape from danger is to keep out of the way of those in power, trying to find real jobs and stay in school.
In one episode Acerola and Laranjinha must find a way to get back home with medication or a relative will die. Since at times access is denied in various locations due to internal struggles between warring factions, the boys have to figure out a way to get through the barriers.
The housing is mostly in a shantytown setting, but the story expands as the plot thickens and the boys work in the city, spend time surfing at the beach and go on outings to fly kites with new friends. They even take bus trips out of town to visit politicians and film their journey.
You wouldn't expect a TV series filled with violent neighborhoods to be heartwarming, humorous, adventurous and completely captivating but Acerola and Laranjinha will truly steal your heart. Even with the few scenes of violence, I felt that nothing seemed gratuitous, but more in line with a very in-depth character study of two boys growing up in an especially violent world. Everything that happens to the two boys is in direct correlation with what will happen next or what they will encounter and overcome.
The struggle for survival is always apparent, although money seems to flow freely in the favela. Whether the boys are earning money from making popsicles or trying to keep a job, they learn important life-changing lessons. The grandmothers in the family are very influential, but the fathers seem to be absent most of the time. Laranhihna and Acerola feel the absence of a father figure in their lives and often comment about how they wish they had someone there to teach them how to live. This was heartbreaking but enlightening.
Acerola is faced with the greatest challenges and the way he embraces his life choices and grows up to be a responsible man is truly inspiring. My favorite scene is when Acerola and Cristiane are dancing at the prom with their newborn baby between them. It is such a beautiful moment and really does explore the depths of the love between Acerola and Cristiane who must overcome incredible hurdles to be together and survive.
Throughout there is humor, family struggles, competition between residents and major problems are solved through creative involvement of the citizens. The last episode seems to be a playful mix of cartoons and surprises.
This should probably be rated at least R for the club scenes (sensual dancing), violence (realistic shooting scenes), sexual language and brief sensual encounters that mostly hint at sexual situations. While these things do occur, they seem to be brief and don't seem to distract too much from the main story.
~The Rebecca Review
Amazingly visceral and engaging.
pbonewolfman | Minneapolis | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The acting is engaging, the episodes are well-written and beautifully filmed and the character development is second to no other television show or film I've ever seen. Throughout the series there is an unprecedented blend of drama and humor that is sublimely touching.
After a few episodes you will find yourself thinking about the characters as if you know them personally, especially the incredibly multi-faceted main characters Acerola and Laranjinha. You will find yourself feeling a complete spectrum of emotion as you follow the two boys through agonizing challenges and life lessons that are often used as a vehicle of social commentary about Brazilian political and social structures. This commentary is delivered in a variety of original ways including interviews with real people cut right into the middle of story-lines and unscripted interactions between the show's actors filmed in a documentary style.
In addition to the fantastic character development there is equally impressive development of setting. There were times I felt I was running right along with the characters through the rough, disorienting, labyrinth of a neighborhood they live in. The distance between you on your couch and the environment on your television screen will never feel smaller than it does while watching City of Men.
All of that said, there are times where the seemingly insurmountable challenges Acerola and Laranjinha face feel formulaic and there are a couple episodes that are noticeably less enjoyable than the others because of inexplicable plot developments and inconsistencies, to the point where at times I was wondering if I had missed episodes. (One episode ends with one of the boys stating, "We never saw him again...", about a character who appears in the very next episode.) Also, if you find yourself as immersed in Acerola and Laranjinha's lives as I did, the last episode will feel like a bit of a slap in the face.
All in all this series is well worth the 13 odd hours you will spend watching. At it's worst it is wildly entertaining and evocative and at it's best it transcends it's medium to directly enhance your core understanding of society, privilege, oppression (mainly of poor people by government establishments), and the fundamental experiences, (love, friendship, work, pride, hardship, fear, the search for identity and meaning) that we all share."
One of the best shows ever!
*Caligirl_08* | San Diego | 07/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i dont want to repeat anything that's already been said but i just love this series so much i had to come on here and give it 5 stars. i'd give 100 if i could!
i watched the entire series over 3 days time and i would reccommend it to anyone of any age. it's just so entertaining, making you laugh, cry, learn and think. the actors who play acerola and laranjinha are extremely talented (and there are a lot of hot guys in the series - tons of eye-candy.)
the subtitles are great, the brazilian-portugese is an awesome language, so nice to listen to and you will probably inadvertently learn some while watching this!