Director: Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund
Year Released: 2002
Super-flashy portrait of poverty in the 'bad part' of Rio de Janeiro that follows around a wide assortment of would-be criminals, their drug trade, and an eventual civil war that takes the lives of countless people. In a way, it's a modernized Lord of the Flies, where most of the inhabitants of this massive slum can't be more than 30, and forceful authority figures aren't shown (the police are incapable of controlling the anarchy). The violence is stylized, naturally - everything else in the film is done with zip and pizzazz, as are the gun battles - but it's not designed to incite anyone to find the violence mimic-able: the violent always get their comeuppance and even those only loosely associated with them are 'punished' for their involvement (a good comparison would be Trainspotting, which may be glossy but is also not something you walk away from and feel the immediate need to start doing heroin). The truly absurdist final shot of the movie shows children, none older than 12, as the controlling rulers of their decrepit, decaying surroundings, and making up a blacklist of people they want to kill.