HomeArticlesRio Olympics'Dickens and dazzle': Clues about Fernando Meirelles' political opening ceremony in his...

‘Dickens and dazzle’: Clues about Fernando Meirelles’ political opening ceremony in his Oscar-nominated ‘City of God’

There are those who wonder why the edgy film director Fernando Meirelles was chosen to orchestrate the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics. After all, his most famous film, “City of God,” depicts drugs and violence in Rio’s crime-ridden favelas, which Brazil’s government officials would love to hide from the media.

But even before the world saw the color-filled spectacle that he, choreographer Deborah Colker and fellow film director Daniela Thomas unleashed on Rio Friday night, Times film critic Kenneth Turan noted that Meirelles’ film, which was nominated for four Oscars, showed “a potent and unexpected mixture of authenticity and flash.” In his review of “City of God,” originally published Jan. 17, 2003, Turan’s description of the film could also be applied to Meirelles’ opening ceremony depicting the story of Brazil and of climate change: “It’s Dickens and dazzle crossed with Social Darwinism.”

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