I don't recall how I came across City of God. And if you haven't either, I would recommend putting it in your queue.
City of God is a Brazilian film (Portuguese, with English subtitles) in the style of Goodfellas, part coming-of-age and part gang warfare. A teenage photographer, nicknamed Buscape ("Rocket"), narrates the story from his youth, mostly in the 1970s.
The City of God is a suburban slum, an orphanage slaughterhouse with little-to-no adult presence. The film opens with a comical chase scene, numerous gangsters and kids attempting to catch a chicken. While photographing the chaos, Rocket suddenly finds himself caught between the police and the gangs, all with guns drawn. Then, the film suddenly takes you back to the beginning (the 1960s), and a more youthful Rocket, because, as Rocket explains, to tell the story, he needs to start at the beginning. Although a violent end is inevitable, we see the unique paths of Rocket and his two friends, Benny and Dadinho (Li'l Dice), one channeling his creativity inwardly, one channeling his creativity outwardly, and another deciding brutality is his only means of making his mark on the contracted world of the slum.
Quick cuts, whirling shots and tight storytelling maintain a quick pace make this a thrilling film. But don't lose sight of the bigger picture. The City of God, despite its name, is a dehumanizing place, and existence for many is sadly brief.