The City of God (#29 IMDB top 250) is a film about life in Brazilian "favelas" (shantytowns) where poverty, drugs, violence and crime rule the streets. At murder rates of more than 40 per 100,000, one person shot every 30 minutes in the city, Rio ranks as the world's most dangerous places along with Cali, Colombia and Johannesburg, South Africa. Rio has over 600 favelas and the crime and violence is becoming so bad corporations are fleeing the city while the military is under direct assault and the prison system is breaking down. Favela guided tours available or see the movie available now on DVD.
If the poor get richer, does the world see progress? The global "consumer class", defined by those who make $7,000 or more in local currency, is growing quickly but making it even more difficult for the worlds poor to get ahead. 1.7 billion belong to the consumer class while over 3 billion survive on less than $2 a day. Will the growing tide of new consumers in the developing world contribute to the solution of global poverty or simply add to the problem?