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City of God

For those who missed last year's first run of the extraordinary French/Brazilian co-production City of God, here's a second chance to taste, smell and feel the Cidade de Deus of the title -- a 1960s-era housing project that, by the 1980s, had degenerated into the most violent slum in all of Rio de Janeiro, probably one of the worst in the world. The relentless, dangerous strains of life in this urban hell, and its myriad of terribly damaged, often hopeless characters, come together -- beautifully and tragically -- in the gifted eye and the keen perceptions of its young, black narrator, Busca-Pe. Himself a victim of circumstance, he manages to fight back deprivation and despair through his photography: In this scheme of things, the captured image somehow defeats harsh reality. Nominated for two Academy Awards, this searing look at inner-city poverty and the deathless urge for survival amid the constant threat of death plays as true in our troubled American cities as in the land of bahia and carnevale. City of God (130 minutes) screens at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, August 8 and 9, in the University of Colorado's renowned International Film Series. All showings are in Muenzinger Auditorium on the Boulder campus. For more information, call 303-492-1531 or go online at www.internationalfilmseries.com.
 
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