The article explores the representation of young-black men in the 2002 film City of
God. The film deploys “pathological scripts” of Black masculinity in Brazil as criminal
and deviant. The controlling image of Black men’s bodies as a source of danger and
impurity sustains Brazilian regime of racial domination, and the narratives of violence
make explicit the ways in which the Brazilian nation is imagined though a racial underpinning.
Blackness is consumed as an exotic commodity, yet is also understood as a threat
to national harmony. The nation is, then, written and re-imagined as a racial paradise, but
mostly by inscribing death on the black body.