CITY OF GOD
1. What evidence is there in the film that the provisions in the City of God are poor?
2. Who do you think is to blame for the residents living in these conditions?
3. Why do you think the slum was called the City of God?
4. What should/could be done to change life in the City of God?
5. What would he have looked like/worn e.g., hair, clothes, car etc.
6. Would he have gone to school?
7. Would he have gone to church?
8. How old would he have been when he used his first gun?
9. Would he have taken drugs?
10. There are only a handful of female characters in the film. What would life have been like for the women who lived in the City of God? Split into pairs and each choose a decade that the film spans. Write a diary extract for a female living in the slum in a certain decade. Include thoughts on what they like and dislike about living there and what their hopes for the future are. Compare your extracts: how are they different?
11. What questions might the students ask him?
12. Split your group in two. One half of the group writes a list of questions they would ask Lil Ze, the other half should use their notes from the film to write thoughts and ideas about what Lil Ze would say to the students. Now present the questions and answers as a whole class.In one scene, Lil Ze shoots two of The Runts in the foot, and then forces another younger boy to kill one of them. This is a powerful scene and one that shows the extent of the problems.
13. Discuss how this scene makes you feel. What do you think about young children using guns?
14. Write a script for a one-act play from the point of view of the young boy who was forced to kill his friend. How does he feel towards guns now? What does he think about Lil Ze and all the other people in the favela? Has the power of pulling the trigger made him want to do it again or put him off it?
15. What do you think could have been done back in the 1970s and 1980s to prevent the gun problem getting so bad?
16. How bad is the gun problem in Rio in the twenty-first century? Research and write an article for a national newspaper on how things have changed in Rio’s slums since the days of the City of God.
17. Can you think of any other techniques you could use?
18. Could Rocket and his position at the newspaper help?