City of God
The City of God and the Life of People in Rio de Janeiro
In this paper I will talk about how the characters in city of god lived. Also how the movie criticizes brazil’s democracy. The image City of God’ has a few examples of sociology speculations of wrongdoing and abnormality. The film is described by one among 2 focal characters, Rocket, and recounts the narrative of the lives of himself and Lil Ze, kids grew up inside the Ciudad Rio de Janeiro in comparable conditions anyway chose separate pathways throughout everyday life.
The suggestion expresses that intense stir winds up in remunerations, and once these prizes don’t appear to be satisfactory, abnormality emerges. Rocket was then released because of his supervisor trusted he was a piece of the ‘hood’. Rocket didn’t get the severance pay that he expected and was not able purchase the camera he required. progressively Rocket started showing demonstrations of abnormality. He took his more business in order to understand his goals. Later once Rocket swung to freak conduct, Rocket as partner conceiver, on account of the work of grimy implies that for his prosperity.
It’s the qualification and separation between those who are well off and furthermore the less wealthy. The total reason Lil Ze’ had a contention with Knockout Ned was a result of relative depravation. Lil Ze’ saw himself as revolting and was seen turned somewhere near young ladies inside the image. Lil Ze’ compellingly got what he required by taking medications, Knockout Ned’s family and assaulting his better half.
In the film the character Rocket symbolizes trust, as he longs for changing into an innovative individual, and this can be utilized as a vehicle inside the film to depict imaging of the favela to each the media in Rio de Janeiro inside the story, and to the watcher. Lil Ze could be a child with the ‘preference for wrongdoing’ that grows up to be the favela’s most dominant and not well renowned law breaker. The lives of the 2 are tangled and unexpectedly Rocket’s fantasies of changing into an innovative individual are acknowledged through his entrance to life inside the favela and his delineation of the violations executed by Lil Ze and his group.
This film was basic in bringing issues to light of each the presence of still on the grounds that the issues inside the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, related was one among the essential social portrayals to rise up out of Brazil to demonstrate the darker aspect of the town and a substitute reality to what’s unremarkably apparent in regards to city, that is postal card pictures of shorelines, dusks and samba. By means of this social vehicle.
This scene comes full circle in apparently the premier extraordinary and astonishing scene inside the film, wherever a child wants to be started into Lil Ze’s pack is compelled to decide between that 2 kids from the ‘Runts’ he needs to shoot and murder. we tend to are looked alongside his hesitation just as his separation from issues he’s put in. one among the youths whose life is being resolved begins crying uncontrollably, and with a nearby shot of his face we tend to are on the double attracted to his outrageous stress of issues he’s in, still as his age, that couldn’t be more than five years past. the child character pulls the trigger. ‘Steak and Frites’, is later spoken to inside the place of the opponent posse being addressed on why he should be worried inside the group fighting, and says: ‘I smoke, I grunt. I have slaughtered and burglarized. I’m a man’.
At the end of the film once the Runts have dead Ze and are talking about anyway they’ll assume control over his business and turn into the pioneers of the favela, their absence of instruction is featured once one among the group requests the necessities of making effective rundown of these they will kill ‘who here knows about an approach to compose?’ and one among them reacts ‘a bit’. Either these children have had no entrance to training, or extra required with their survival inside the favela consider tutoring to be partner inessential a piece of life.
At the point when Benny is executed by a devotee and along these lines kept from endeavor the favela we tend to are defied with the sole snapshot of distress inside the film; this can be the sole minute wherever Ze indicates feeling, wherever the camera shots wait at the scene of the passing, and wherever the watcher is in a very sense educated to feel despondency for his misfortune. His demise is furthermore superseding in depicting the issue of making an endeavor to be a legit character inside or making an endeavor to leave the lifetime of the favela.
The last key this movie shows the corruption that is happening in the city. The police are bought off and they are there to help the drug dealers and they themselves sell illegal guns. In the movie it started off by saying that all the poor people would be in that city. This shows how the country does not do anything to help this people come out of poverty, instead there shows how the people are killed by the police or die there because there is no way for them to get out. The kids are not enforced to attend school instead a lot of them seek out other methods to make money and be able to live. The democracy in this movie is being shown as a shamble because there of the amount of corruption that is being presented.
Saint Augustine Of Hippo’s Book The City Of God: How Man’s Fall Resulted in Death
Augustine’s The City of God addresses, in Books thirteen and fourteen, the origins of sin and the purpose and nature of death, examining the fall of man and it’s relation to the mortal condition and death and vice as a punishment. Augustine’s work has continued to serve as a key religious test since it was written during the fall of the Roman Empire in fourth century A.D..
Book fourteen, in chapters ten through sixteen deal with the nature of original sin The original human beings, Adam and Eve, are portrayed by Augustine to have had a wonderful life, unhindered by the burdens of disease, mortality and sin (Augustine 567). The priest stresses the responsibility of Adam and Eve in their sin, citing their pride as the reason for their inability to admit their wrongdoing (Augustine 574). This pride and self-indulgence was punished by being “…handed over to himself”, meaning that the human flesh was then commanded to oppose the human soul, leading to many future human evils (Augustine 575). Book fourteen is an in-depth explanation of why death, suffering and sin were imposed on man which is was previously explored by Augustine in Book thirteen.
Book thirteen of The City of God quickly establishes death as a punishment for the disobedience towards God of Adam and Eve, noting that “The condition of human beings was such that if they continued in perfect obedience they would be granted the immortality of the angels” (Augustine 510). It is very important for Augustine to then explain what he means by death, which–as it is fundamentally an evil as it separates the body from the soul in all cases (Augustine 511, Augustine 515). Augustine is quick to make the distinction between the death of the body and the death of the soul (Augustine 510-511). The first, and most severe a form of death, is that of the soul which occurs only when God–the source of life for the soul–abandons it in return for being abandoned (Augustine 510-511). This form of death is sometimes referred to by Augustine as “the second death” when both the body and soul are devoid of life (Augustine 510-511, Augustine 523-524). The death of the soul is undoubtedly more punishing than the death of the body, this being–according to Augustine, the first form of death inflicted upon the first man, Adam (523-524). The idea of the destroyed or mutually abandoned soul is portrayed as a greater punishment than even the torments of Hell, an idea addressed by Augustine in Chapters five and six of book thirteen of his work.
Chapter five of the thirteenth book of The City of God deals with the law and death as agents of good or evil, framing the law as inherently good and death as inherently evil (Augustine 514-515). Augustine’s view on the law is much simpler than his view on virtuous death, claiming that the law is good because it allows death to be handed to those that deserve it–though it may tempt some, by forbidding a thing, to commit a crime (Augustine 514-515). The reasoning used by Augustine to justify the law is that “…sin was made to show its true character…”, sin is temptation and was punished, by God, with death (Augustine 514-515). While Augustine paints death as an evil, he also paints it as a tool to avoid sinning–as used by a number of saints (Augustine 514-515). In Chapter four Augustine notes that death for a saint “…has become the means by which men pass into life”, a point again made in chapter five when “…righteousness puts all things, evil as well as good, to good employment” (Augustine 514-515) The death of the virtuous saint avoids the death of the soul and only involves the death of the body, passing from the human life to the life of the immortal soul (Augustine 514-515, Augustine 510). Augustine’s positions reinforce the idea that the good shall be rewarded while the wicked shall be abandoned by the Creator.
When read together, books thirteen and fourteen paint a bigger picture of the role of death in Christianity. Augustine, in book fourteen, seems to throw the theological book of offenses at Adam and Eve, the first sinners (Augustine 566-577). Augustine also takes the time to suggest that Adam incurred the greatest punishment, the abandonment of his soul by both himself and God (Augustine 523-524). Despite the universal punishment of death, The City of God still offers some reward–or at least a lesser punishment–to the saints or to the faithful, those who have repented for the original sin and sin that occurred in their lifetime (Augustine 514-515). For the repentant, there is the death of only the body which allows them to “…pass into life” as an immortal soul, like the immortality promised to Adam and Eve (Augustine 514, Augustine 510).
It is for these reasons that the text endures. Augustine both explains the fallibility of man as well as the willingness of God to take Mankind under His roof once again, inspite of the prideful self-indulgence of the first human beings, actions that–even in the material world–lead to corruption and failure.
Reviewing Augustine Hippo’s Book City Of God
The City of God (5th century A.D.) composed by St. Augustine, one of the founding fathers of the Church of Rome, highlights the world issues within the context of the individual, family and city-state. For him, the key to unite the world is not by might or warfare, but by breaking down linguistic and social barriers, thereby facilitating communication, understanding, peace and unity. Attaining this end of a unifying language has been purchased by bloodshed. He refers to Rome as the imperial city who imposes this language on its citizens and those subjugated under her yoke. The diversity of languages has only engendered conflict and separation within the human race. Augustine bemoans the woeful effects of war, not just in the physical domain but in the mental and spiritual which give birth to insensitivity of feeling and hardness of heart. Types of war which arise are political, social and civil in nature; however, just wars are justified – waged for righteous ends and blessed by the Church.
The Art of War (5th century B.C.) composed by Sun Tzu, a notable Chinese general, stresses the importance of war to the state and gives pithy advice on martial techniques on how to manoeuvre one’s army to secure victory. Moral influence is a very integral factor in warfare as a battle can never be won without the respect and cooperation of citizens impelled by love of king, government and country. A leader strikes the right balance between love and discipline, reward and punishment. The prime tool to emerge victor in a war is that of deception and to do the opposite of what the enemy expects or supposes. Self-knowledge and knowledge about one’s combatant are indispensable in going against the odds. The water metaphor characterizes the army because an effective and efficient army practices subtlety (hidden strength), flexibility, adaptation to adverse circumstances, inconstancy, …). The politics of warfare. It is imperative that in warfare there be no prevailing beliefs in omen, superstitions, nor portents as they would demoralize the army, cause despair and hasten loss. The objective of the army is to fight to the death no matter what the signs of nature, or the supernatural.
The Greatness of War (1900) authored by Heinrich von Treitschke explores the discourse of militarism and its role specifically in Germany. War unites a people as the citizens celebrate an ideal that is higher and beyond the individual and the self that is the welfare of the State and the glorification of a Nation seeing to its survival and prestige. In the absence of war, mental stagnation and exhaustion result but on the other hand, war quickens and enlivens the body and mental faculties. The prevalent political opinion tending to militarism lay the foundation of the World Wars which led to increased military budgets in an age where war was seen as a solution for certain crises. War is idealized in the eyes of the elite and the masses. Tritshchke plants divine justification of war where God sanctions war which serves for the best of humanity. War is a means of peace and progress. War begets the ideal of heroism where men distinguish themselves as icons, models of national pride. The joys, fond memories and euphoric feelings that war produces surpass the devastation and loss of life.
Friedrich von Bernhardi’s ‘Germany and the Next War’ (1912) advocates war and militarism where it was viewed as “a biological necessity of the first importance.” Survival of the fitness and the law of the strong ruling the weak are taken as mottos in Germany. War is indispensable because it is a process through which civilization is born and develops: the absorption of weaker nations into a larger nation which goes on to the status of empire. Yet war is inevitable because through another law: the law of self-preservation, weaker nations oppose overthrow, defeat and foreign rule, there begins a struggle and a fight for either conquest or preservation – similar that of a predator and a prey. The right of possession goes only to the victor of the strife and lies in sheer force. In the same vein, the German’s appropriate to themselves the law of the right of conquest to conquer other nations and take over territories. Civilisation gets promoted through conquest as power added/ annexed to an even higher power allegorically, the pyramid of power. The absence of war to the German is inconceivable as in peace there can be no expansion of territory no absorption of power and no growth of a state, to a nation to an Empire.
Augustine’s Cities: Living According to God vs. Living According to Man
In The City of God, Augustine goes to great lengths to explain the distinction between living according to God and living according to man using an analogy of two cities. With this distinction, he shows that living according to God is superior because it offers the promise of salvation and true happiness after death, something that cannot be attained according to Augustine if one decides to turn away from God and live according to man. He makes this argument by defining the three parts of the human being and explaining their role in a person’s decision to serve God or the self. He also uses his interpretation of original sin as evidence for the repercussions of turning away from God.
Augustine begins by defining the composition of a human being. According to Augustine, every man is made up of two parts, the flesh and the spirit. The flesh consists of both the soul and the physical body, while the spirit is the rational part of the human being that has the free will to serve either the flesh or God. Augustine does not believe that the soul is inherently better than the body, stating that “it is not only because of the flesh that the soul is moved by desires and fears, by joy and sorrow, but that it can also be agitated by these same emotions welling up within the soul itself” (303). This means that the soul is affected by emotions and is corruptible in the same way that the body can be controlled by its appetites and desires. Because the soul is just as fallible and imperfect as the body, Augustine does not believe it to be superior. All three parts – the soul, body, and spirit – comprise a human being, and no part alone can make up a man in the absence of the others.
With the two parts of the human being established, namely the flesh and the spirit, Augustine creates an analogy of two cities, each representing one way a man can live. The first is to live in the City of Man, which is to live “according to the flesh” (295). This way of life results when man lives for the sake of himself, rather than God. He has turned away from God, thinking it is better for him to concern himself only with the needs and desires of the flesh, resulting in failure to serve God. Augustine views this as an arrogant, self-centered way to live, because he believes it happens when a man thinks he can live a more fulfilling and pleasurable life without God. He condemns the decision to live in this manner, saying “there is a wickedness by which a man who is self-satisfied as if he were the light turns himself away from that true Light which, had man loved it, would have made him a sharer in the light” (311). This suggests that Augustine equates living according to man with completely turning away from God due, to the belief that the human being is complete without Him. He criticizes the man who chooses this way of life as being blind to God’s salvation and wisdom, which he may have participated in had he accepted God into his life.
The City of God, in contrast with the City of Man, is a state in which man lives according to God. This way of life arises when man embraces and serves God, even to the negation of self. By that, Augustine means that man chooses the subjection of the body and worldly desires in order to orient himself toward God. This is done in the hopes that denying oneself in this life will lead to everlasting peace in the next life. In this metaphorical city, the spirit looks above the flesh to exist for the purpose of serving God and controls the pleasures of the flesh in order to honor Him.
The two cities represent two different loves, one that loves the self and one that loves God. The City of Man is a “selfish love” (321) in which man rejects the necessity of God for attaining true happiness and salvation and instead believes that happiness is achievable through human wisdom alone. Conversely, the City of God recognizes that God is the highest form of truth and knowledge; it is only through Him that humankind has any hope of eternal peace and sanctity.
Although Augustine recognizes that man has been given the ability to choose whether or not the spirit should serve God, it is clear that he thinks that human beings can only live righteously by living according to God. He reasons that only through a life of service to Him may one attain access to His kingdom and eternal beatitude after death. Even the most virtuous and “wise men in the city of man live according to man” (322), meaning that although they may live respectable lives they will still be condemned to damnation after death since they will fail to receive salvation from God.
Not only will living in service of God allow for peace after death, but it also eases the minds of His followers while alive because it gives them hope in a greater existence after death. Augustine claims that human beings, “now compelled to feel the misery of so many grievous ills on earth, can, by the hope of heaven, be made both happy and secure” (442). This means that although life can be unpleasant, even miserable at times, there is always hope for serenity in heaven if one lives in service of God. Those who choose to believe that the greatest happiness is found during a worldly existence and selfishly indulge in bodily pleasures are excluded from both the peace of mind that comes with the hope of an eternal existence and subsequently “will not attain the kingdom of God” (297) after death.
Denying God’s ultimate power in favor of living according to man is exactly what happened in the case of Adam and Eve, which Augustine deems the original sin. Eve turned away from God’s might when she decided to eat the forbidden fruit, and Augustine believes that this act was committed because Eve thought she knew better than God. Her actions were disobedient and represented the misconception that human beings can be more knowledgeable than God and self-sufficient without Him. Augustine uses this example to show how not living in service of God results in severe negative consequences. After all, Adam and Eve, like all other human beings who choose to live according to man, had made themselves each a “deserter of eternal life” and “doomed to eternal death – from which nothing could save [them] but grace” (313). To choose to live according to man, therefore, is to choose to be exiled from heaven and God’s salvation.
Although human beings may seem to be naturally sinful creatures who cannot resist the urge to fulfill bodily pleasures while choosing to neglect their duties to God, Augustine argues that this is not the case. If the human body were inherently sinful then that would imply that the Creator made human beings fundamentally bad. Since Augustine believes that all things made by God must be good, the flesh cannot be blamed for the sins of human beings. That is why the original sin of Adam and Eve was not caused by “a corruption of the body” (299), but instead was their choice to disobey God’s commandment. Because of that their bodily desires alone were not to blame for their sin; rather, it was a flaw in their spirit. Because the spirit has free will, it is up to each person to decide whether to live according to man or according to Him. Adam and Eve’s failure to obey God was caused by the spirit turning away from Him in an act of pride.
Augustine proposes two ways a human being can live: according to man or according to God. To illustrate this point he creates two cities, each of which embodies the characteristics of one way of life. In the City of Man, people have turned away from God and selfishly believe life is sufficient without Him. Conversely, in the City of God everyone recognizes the might of God and serves Him devoutly in hopes of achieving eternal beatitude after death. Augustine warns that the fate of those living in the City of Man is eternal damnation because they have not earned God’s graces and thus will not be saved. However, when the spirit embraces God and desires only to serve Him, one may live with the promise of a blissful existence in heaven and freedom from earthly misery after death.
Formal Elements in City of God
In Fernando Meirelles’ film City of God (2002) the audience is introduced to and follows the life of Rocket, and his affiliation with Li’l Zé (formerly Li’l Dice), a gang leader in the City of God. In one of the final scenes of the film, a continuation of the opening scene, a battle breaks out between the two rival gangs in which Rocket is caught in the middle. Shots are fired on both sides and police become involved, resulting in the arrests of Carrot and Li’l Zé. Through the lens of Rocket’s camera, the audience witnesses the police take Li’l Zé’s money and possessions as bribes and set him free. Upon his being freed, Li’l Zé is approached by the Runts who brutally murder him both with the intent to take over the drug business, and out of revenge for the murder of one of their own. After the Runts are gone, Rocket approaches Li’l Zé’s bullet-hole-riddled body, and captures the only images of the take down of the tyrant gang leader.
Meirelles uses several formal elements to heighten the authenticity of emotion throughout the film. In the final few scenes in particular, Meirelles utilizes shadow and low angles to depict the clumsiness and nervousness that Rocket is experiencing as he witnesses Li’l Zé’s interaction with the police and the Runts. Rocket is seen only through the cutouts in the wall with his face obstructed by either the presence of his camera or the wall itself, as the policemen, who are cast entirely in shadow, walk down the stairs toward Li’l Zé. After snapping a few pictures, which are caught in brief freeze frames as he takes them, Rocket is seen hurriedly attempting to adjust the settings on his camera from a low angle initially, and then a close-up on his fingers as they fumble with the dials in an attempt to make sure he gets every shot he can and does not miss a single detail.
Another interesting choice of formal element Meirelles uses in the film, is the idea of the camera capturing all of the action of this scene through the lens of Rocket’s camera. The audience experiences this event quite literally through the eyes of Rocket as he is attempting to capture these crucial moments for the City of God. The lens of the camera produces a white circle in the center of the shot as a means of focusing the image, and the audience experiences this. The viewer is able to see the shift in focus of the image as Rocket attempts to steady his hands and the camera in order to get the perfect shot through the cutouts in the wall; which often obstruct the view of the camera in a blurry outline. In between pictures, the camera will switch points of view from Rocket’s to an objective view where the audience catches a glimpse of Rocket through the cutouts in the wall, with his camera ready in his hands and his eye peaking just over the lens at the events unfolding.
Lastly, Meirelles utilizes diegetic sound to capture the snap of the camera over the sound of the conversation between Li’l Zé and the police officers. While the conversation is still audible, the click of the camera takes precedence over the mumbled conversation when Rocket’s point of view is in effect. Meirelles does this for two reasons: the first, is to solidify the audience’s understanding that this is all taking place in Rocket’s point of view, and the snap of the camera is going to be louder to his ears than the conversation taking place. The second, is to further drive one of the main themes of the film; a picture is worth a thousand words. In most cases, the images Rocket is capturing say more about life in the City of God and the corruption of the police than any interview with a citizen or officer could.
Through the use of several formal elements, Meirelles was able to heighten the authenticity of emotion within the film and further the audience’s understanding of the corruption in the City of God. The utilization of shadow over the police officers as they walked down the stairs evoked a sense of fear of being caught within the audience. The low angle and close-up shots of Rocket fumbling with the camera presented feelings of anxiety over being caught and urgency to capture the next image. Anxiety could also be felt every time the camera clicked, for fear that the police or Li’l Zé would hear it and come after Rocket. However, none of these elements would have had nearly the same emotional impact on the audience had the camera not been in Rocket’s point-of-view for the near entirety of the scene. Meirelles’ choice to film through Rocket’s lens made this scene the most impactful piece of the film.