“City of God,” a film depicting the lives of two boys in Brazil, is showing at the Ohio Union this weekend, beginning a three-part international film series.
The Graduate and Professional Student Committee of the Ohio Union Activities Board is hosting the event. Kerry Hodak, the head of the committee, hopes this film series will draw in more graduate students than past events.
“About one-third of the graduate students are international students, so we’re hoping to sort of reach out to a broader audience,” she said.
“City of God” takes place in Rio de Janeiro, a city that the film presents as being filled with violence. The film is based on the novel “Cidade de Deus,” which was inspired by a true story, but some feel the violence on screen is exaggerated.
Samuel Cruz, a Brazilian graduate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, warns that the movie is still fiction.
“I think it makes it appear too violent in Brazil,” he said. “In a way there is violence here (U.S.) and in other places, but the film uses violence to draw attention.”
Although the Graduate and Professional Student Committee is hosting the showing, it will be open to all students and will be a free, non-ticketed event. Carrie Diroll, a fourth-year in Italian, intends to take advantage of the free entertainment. Through her classes and plans for after graduation, Diroll has recently started studying Brazil and its culture, leading to interest in the film.
“A movie, made in Portuguese by a Brazilian director is about as close as I can get to an authentic point of view in Columbus, Ohio,” Diroll said.
Although the movie does show truthful aspects of life in Brazil, Cruz is weary about how much students, like Diroll, associate the film with reality.
“Something to take away from it is that the violence there is not everywhere, it happens in a specific place,” he said. “It happens in different places all over Brazil, but that violence is very localized.”
The film will offer an insight into Brazilian culture for students who seek it, like Diroll, but the main goal for OUAB is just to get more students involved.
February’s film for the series will be “Amelie,” a French film about a woman in Paris who performs random acts of kindness for the people around her. The committee has not yet decided on the third and final film of the series, but Hodak said they are aiming to find something family-friendly.
Because the movie is on a holiday weekend and it is not ticketed, Hodak was unsure what kind of outcome to expect for the event.
“It will depend on the weather and on people’s plans for the holiday weekend, although for those people sticking around it might be a great opportunity to give them something to do,” she said.
The film is showing at 4 p.m. in the U.S. Bank Conference Theatre in the Ohio Union.