City of God, the favela (squatter settlement) for which the movie is named, is one of Rio de Janeiro's most notorious slums. Our narrator is a young boy named Rocket who leads us from the late '60's, when the favela is orderly rows of pre-fab housing for the poverty-stricken, into the early '80's when it has become a warren of bleak apartment blocks that residents can't escape. As young Rocket (Luis Otavio, as a boy, Alexandre Rodrigues, as a teen) watches, the favela dissolves into conditions conducive to crime, the rule of the gun, and, eventually, full-blown turf war. The young favela sports such low grade hoods as the "Tender Trio," comprising Rocket's older brother, Goose (Renato de Souza), Clipper (Jefechander Suplino) and idea-man Shaggy (Jonathan Haagensen). The Trio's antics do not extend beyond stealing fuel from trucks and, after a robbery goes awry, one boy turns to the church while another is taken firmly in hand by his father. But they are replaced by the malevolent Lil' Dic (Douglas Silva, as a boy, Leandro Firmino da Hora, as a teen) and his side-kick, the forgiving Benny (Phellipe Haagensen). When Lil' Dic decides to take control, a series of small scale coups escalate into turf war with Carrot (Matheus Nachtergaele) and "good" man turned vigilante, Knockout Ned (Seu Jorge).