Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, the directors of City of God, produced a spin off television series called City of Men. The show follows the lives of two teenagers and best friends Acerola and Laranjinha; every episode deals with the various challenges the kids face while growing up in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro.
The episode, called Uolace & Joao Victor, follows a day in the life of two seemingly different kids divided by their place in the city. Uolace, better known as Laranjinha, is a black kid who resides in a favela. He lives life day to day, spending most of his time on the streets trying to find food to eat. His mother works two jobs to support him and only comes home on the weekends leaving Laranjinha to fend for himself. Joao Victor is a white kid who lives in an apartment complex right outside of Laranjinha's favela. He's not rich but lives comfortably (all though he would complain about his old and out of style nike sneakers). His mother is the opposite of Uolace's, she's overbearing and constantly nagging Joao Victor. It seems as if their lives couldn't be any different. This is established by Meirelles editing style at the beginning of the episode.
In one scene, Meirelles presents the contrasting lives of the two characters. In one shot we see Joao Victor making dinner for his mother and himself. His food is healthy and natural and he takes great care while preparing his meal. Laranjinha's life is paralleled with Joao Victor's through hard cuts. One second we see Joao Victor in the quiet and comfort of his own home, the next shot wee see Laranjinha and his friend wandering the chaotic and frenzied streets trying to make money to buy food. When he finally makes enough money, him and his friend order a slice of pizza. By establishing these characters in such dissimilar settings, Meirelles is emphasizing how different their experiences are within the city. The interesting thing he does here is while establishing their differences, he creates a connection between the two using sound. The song Tempo Perdido, by popular Brazilian rock band Legiao Urbana, surrounds both characters. Joao Victor sings the song as he cooks, while at the same time, the song plays on the street that Laranjinha begs on. One can't help but question the motives of the director here; on one hand he can't make it any more clear how different the two kids are, but on the other hand he establishes a alliance between the two with the music.
As the episode progresses, we begin to see the lives of these seemingly opposite boys come together through plot and editing. The boys symbolize the two faces of the city; the asphalt city and the dirt city. Both boys wake up everyday to the sound of police sirens, but from different perspectives. Laranjinha experiences it first hand, he's in the thick of it while Joao experiences it from his window. The episode presents this very interesting relationship between the two boys; though they come from opposite sides of the city, they are more alike than they know. The last scene of the episode is the one that brings the whole story together. We see Joao Vitor at night, staring out of the window at the favela. In voice over, he expresses his fear about his uncertain future. Under his window passes Laranjinha walking home late at night who in his own voice over expresses the same concern. Here, Meirelles does another very interesting thing with sound. As the kids come to the realization that they are alike, their voice overs beging to overlap eachother. They eventually end up saying the same thing, "What he doing awake alone at this time of night? He looks sort of lost. Just like me." This is the episodes payoff. In the end we see that they're both just kids. Despite all the hardships they deal with living in Rio de Janeiro, they face the same troubles. Growing up is hard to do no matter who you are.