City of God, or Cidade de Deus, is the best film that Martin Scorsese never made. It’s a multi-stranded, hyper-kinetic, visually vibrant crime extravanganza that charts the undulating fortunes of the various inhabitants of the City of God, a Brazilian favela on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
Operating on a higher level than even the very best of the films that inspired it, City of God is a dazzling display of visual virtuosity and narrative intricacy that crams several generations of criminals into a runtime of just over two hours. It never lags, never feels rushed, never ceases to anything less than utterly compelling and thoroughly thrilling. City of God is a seminal film that belongs in every DVD collection.
City of God (2002), directed by Fernando Meirelles, is released on blu-ray and DVD in the UK by StudioCanal, Certificate 18.