"Based on a real story", the credits tell us at the end of City of God. Set in a housing project in Rio, the movie recounts events from the early life of the filmmaker, and the parts are played by residents of the projects.
It is extremely violent, although the violence is real and simply reflected in the movie. Character determines fate as we follow the lives of gangsters, especiallly one, Lil Dice, who wants to be the crime boss.
Our hero, Rocket, wants to be a photographer. All around him friends and relatives are making choices that mean life or death for themselves and those around them.