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City of Men [2008] [R] - 6.7.8



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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In the barrios of Rio de Janeiro, a world of young gangsters and poverty, 17-year-old Acerola (Douglas Silva) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) are best friends. They have no secrets between them, but do not know their fathers; and when the hidden past of the relationship between their fathers comes to light, the two young men find themselves on opposing sides in a gang war. Also with Jonathan Haagensen, Rodrigo Dos Santos, Luciano Vidigal, Babu Santana, Camila Monteiro, Naíma Silva Alexandre Borges, Mauricio Goncalves, Marcio Costa, Robson Rocha and Jonathan Azevedo. Directed by Paulo Morelli. In Portuguese and French with English subtitles. [1:45]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Shadows of a man and woman having sex while seated are shown: we see the man and woman walk to a chair, he sits down, she sits on his lap, and we then see in shadows cast on a wall her thrusting on him and they kiss.
 A woman is shown briefly from the back in a very short shirt that reveals her legs. A young woman removes her shirt to reveal her bra and a little cleavage. Boys, teens and young men are shown throughout the film with bare chests and backs wearing knee-length shorts, while girls and young women are shown in short shorts and tank tops. Several scenes show teenaged boys in swim trunks and young women are shown in bikinis, showing bare thighs, hips, abdomens, and some cleavage (the girls are thin and malnourished). A young woman is shown in several scenes wearing a close-fitting top. A man is shown in the shower twice from the waist up (we see his bare chest and back).
 We see fuzzy shots of a man and woman embracing and kissing, and then we see the man and woman kiss again briefly. A man and woman enter a small apartment and we see them as a distorted reflection in a wine glass, kissing and embracing and the scene ends.
 A husband and wife lie side by side in bed (she is fully clothed and he wears knee-length shorts and no shirt).
 A 17-year-old boy fathers a child and marries the mother. One teen boy tells another that his wife got pregnant the first time they had sex. We overhear someone say, "She said he couldn't get it up."

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A flashback scene shows a man entering a building with a gun, he chases a man into a back room and shoots him in the back (we see the wounded man fall sideways into a hallway; there is no blood).
 Gang members arm themselves with rifles and handguns, walk into an outdoor soccer training court and begin firing; several children run away and are not hurt, and the coach is seen lying dead, sprawled face down on the concrete (no blood is visible).
 Gang members using their rifles force people out of their vehicles, and they drive to another community to get more weapons and confront another gang: A long battle scene follows in which both gangs walk through dark stone staircases and shadowy passageways with guns drawn, and several young men are shot and killed, falling face down (we see no blood).
 A man carries the body of his dead teenage son in a wheelbarrow up a hill; the arms and legs of the boy are hanging out of the wheelbarrow.
 A man pulls a gun on a young girl and robs her; two teenagers apprehend him, take him away and off camera, and we hear a loud gun shot (we hear later that the man has been murdered by a gang).
 An apartment has been ransacked and we see a young woman in a chair, while women from a rival barrio gang are shearing her dreadlocks.
 A gang of male and female youths enters an elderly woman's small house, they sprinkle rubbing alcohol, push the woman out the door, ignite the alcohol and burn the house down (we see three scenes of the house burning and the old woman sits on a curb).
 A teenage father leaves a one-year-old boy alone on a beach, the child runs up and down crying, and then runs into the water; the teenager goes back to the beach and finds the child in the care of a stranger.
 A man is apprehended in the street by two police officers and forced to his knees; other officers appear and they all slap the man several times and kick him, and they handcuff him and take him away (we are told that the man has stolen credit cards).
 At a youth dance, gang members dance with rifles and handguns in both hands, they shoot at the ceiling in celebration of a coming gang war, and the young men and women chant about winning it. A teen boy aims a gun at another teenager. Several young men shoot rifles in the air.
 In a barrio a young man and a young woman climb a tower of trash in order to take a walk. Two teenage boys carry a one-year-old child on the back of a motorbike. Several people crowd into a small grocery, pull down the door, they hear loud gunshots off-screen and when things are quiet, they open the door and leave.
 A young man learns that his father, whom he does not know, is in prison for murder and robbery.

PROFANITY 8 - 35 F-words, 14 scatological references, 16 anatomical terms, 10 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, gangster, weasel, fool, Judas, traitor, punk, playboy), 2 derogatory terms for homosexuals, 1 religious profanity, 6 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - The hillside communities of Brazil are portrayed as drug-filled barrios rife with drug traffickers and users; a marijuana cigarette is passed among several people, a gang member talks about wanting to snort crack, and there's talk of someone being desperate for drugs. Two young men are shown smoking cigarettes.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Poverty, family, children, love, relationships, secrets, lying, betrayal, crime, drug abuse, third world countries, Latin American cultures, coming of age, responsibility.

MESSAGE - True friendship is mature, forgiving, and compassionate.

(Note: Throughout the film, each scene shows squalor, decaying buildings, and garbage in and around three hillside barrios in Brazil, each tightly packed with small houses, huts, and shops made of loosely nailed boards and mud-work and with each barrio ending in a tall garbage dump.)

Special Keywords: S6 - V7 - P8 - MPAAR

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