US Gets on DVD Two Masterpieces of Brazil’s Contemporary Drama

City of Men, a television series from the makers of the highly acclaimed Brazilian film City of God is currently airing its 2nd season on the Sundance Channel. Lower City is a film starring Alice Braga (City of God ) and produced by the Academy Award nominated producers of another Brazilian film, The Motorcycle Diaries.

Both will be out on DVD this month in the United States. Lower City on September 12 and City of Men on September 26.

Inspired by the motion picture, City of God and directed by the same Academy Award-nominated team (including Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund), this action-packed, powerful series follows two teenage boys growing up in the treacherous slums of Rio de Janeiro.

Acerola (Douglas Silva, City of Men) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha, City of Men) are two 13-year-old kids who live in the drug-lord run city of Dona Marta.

As any ordinary kids their age, Acerola and Laranjinha like to play video games and shop for the latest trends, however, residing in a city full of gangs, drugs and extreme violence, the boys are forced to grow up faster than other boys their age.

Shot on location, City of Men brilliantly mixes humor and reality to explore life in the "favelas" (squatter settlements) and the indomitable spirit of two best friends coming up in one of the most volatile communities in the world.

"City of Men pulses with the kind of energy you don’t get often on American television, and the realness of the shot-on-location scene really makes each episode feel like a minimovie," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.

All four seasons of City of Men will be available as a 3-disc collector’s boxed set, which exclusively features all 19 episodes in the series for $32.98 suggested retail each. They present over 9.5 hours of content.

"City of Men is an incredibly successful Brazilian series, which attracted over 35 million regular viewers on its original run in Brazil and is now a critically acclaimed success in the U.S. market currently airing on The Sundance Channel," says Sal Scamardo, head of Video Marketing for Palm Pictures, which is releasing the series in the US.

Lower City

Lower City stars City of God’s Alice Braga as a stripper named Karinna, The movie is a complex and gritty love triangle set afire when two life-long best friends barter a boat ride to the next town for a night together with the young beauty.

Boasting many awards, including Best Screenplay at the 2005 Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize at the 2005 Miami Film Festival, Lower City had rave a review by The New Yorker who wrote, "The rhythm of this film is a thing of beauty, quickening from wistful indolence to sudden shudders of action."

Deco and Naldinho (Lázaro Ramos and Wagner Moura, from the movie Carandiru) are best friends in a constant struggle to earn an honest living in the gritty world of Salvador de Bahia’s Lower City.

When a beautiful prostitute named Karinna (Braga) asks to hitch a ride, the twosome quickly becomes a threesome. To survive life in the Lower City, the trio must learn to accept each other as lovers, friends and adversaries.

A startlingly intimate debut from director Sergio Machado, Lower City bursts with intensity and sensuality stemming from the unflinching performances of the vibrant young cast and the exotic locale.

Lower City follows the paths of these three characters as they desperately seek a sense of direction through love. Ultimately their lives are drawn into a spiral of passion, sex, jealousy and rage as they learn the true meaning of friendship.

Lower City special DVD features include: Deleted scenes, "Making of" featurette, U.S. theatrical trailer and weblinks. The film will be available on DVD beginning September 12, 2006 for a suggested retail price of $24.99. In Portuguese with English and Spanish subtitles.

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