The scene that I am analyzing in the film, City of God begins with the motel hold-up by Tender Trio and Li’l Ze. Tender Trio took off after they heard gunshots released by Li’l Ze as he was watching out for the police. However, Li’l Ze was nowhere to be found when Shaggy went to look for him. Immediately after, a scene appeared showing that everyone in the motel was dead; the killer however was not shown. This is where the viewers infer the story such that Li’l Ze was the guy behind it because when the Tender Trio left, the people were very much still alive.

This also gives the viewers an advantage, as they now know more information compared to the characters. This knowledge is known as omniscient narration. The temporal order in this particular scene was presented in an order such that it was progressing and moving forward. The screen duration however, was presented in several minutes when in actual, the plot duration of the scene lasts for a few hours as Goose and Clipper hid in the woods at the night of the incident and only came down from the tree when the sun rose.

Temporal frequency was shown, as there were repetitions of close-up shots of Clipper triggered by the sound of gunshots to signify the end of his ‘vision’. The buzzing and droplet sounds played before and during his ‘vision’ was non-diegetic, as it did not affect the story or the plot. The scenes where the tender trio barged into the hotel rooms were shot ambiguously such that the viewers and characters did not have a clear view of the room, which allowed Li’l Ze to kill easily.

The space in the ‘vision’ Clipper had was edited to make it seem complex and unreal, at the same time, believable to create confusions among the viewers. This ‘vision’ is subjective as it plunges into his psychological state (Bordwell & Thompson, 2001). The viewers later understood that the ‘vision’ Clipper had made him come to his senses and realized that being a hoodlum is not what he wants. This particular scene that I chose is actually the causal to Clipper’s destiny and also, the person Li’l Ze became later in the film.

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The hold-up of the motel resulted Clipper and Goose to hide in the woods when Clipper had a ‘vision’ and then decided to live a different lifestyle. Because of this, Clipper, unlike Goose and Shaggy, did not wind up dead. Li’l Ze grew up and became more violent than ever, urging to kill whoever who stands in his way. It all started with his killing spree during the motel hold-up as it was his first time killing and he found it rather enjoyable due to the overwhelming power he felt.

Killing satisfies his needs for power and control, complete opposite of how he felt when he was tagging along with Tender Trio; helpless and powerless. Nonetheless, regardless of how in control and powerful a hoodlum is, they wind up dead, by killing and be killed by others. In relation to the plot and story of the film, this scene showed that the paths chosen by the characters such as Clipper and Li’l Ze determines their destiny, despite growing up in similar environment.


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