University Park Campus
Los Angeles, California 90089


A screening of City of God will be followed by a discussion with Kristen Ferguson. Dinner will be provided.

The Looking Out/Looking In series features several important classical and contemporary films viewed through the lens of social-work theory and practice. Over the past century, film is arguably the preeminent art form of our culture, reflecting our basic fears and desires, our shared myths and dreams. This series will explore social problems in an open and exciting discussion format moderated by faculty from the USC School of Social Work.

City of God (directed by Fernando Meirelleres and Katia Lund, Brazil, 2002) is about a housing project built in the 1960s that in the early '80s became one of the most dangerous places in Rio de Janeiro. The tale tells the stories of many characters whose lives sometimes intersect. However, all is seen through the eyes of a singular narrator: Busca-Pé, a poor black youth too frail and scared to become an outlaw, but also too smart to be content with underpaid, menial jobs. Busca-Pé soon discovers that he can see reality differently than others. His redemption is that he has been given an artist's point of view as a keen-eyed photographer. This film captures one of the primary social-work concepts of person-in-environment while also demonstrating the failure of the government to reduce poverty, crime and substandard living conditions. Kristen Ferguson will lead a discussion following the film and will examine the latest research regarding social development in Latin American countries.

Using the dynamics of film characters and plots as metaphors for both unhealthy and transforming behavior, fluid mental states and deep rooted social problems, the Looking Out/Looking In series will help the audience understand the internal world of people who seek counseling, types of group behavior and community assets and pathology to dispel myths and enlarge our understanding of the disenfranchised.

Other films that will be screened during the Looking Out/Looking In series:
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: November 17, 2006 at 6:30 p.m., Lucas 108
Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus: April 13, 2007 at 6:30 p.m., Lucas 108

Organized by social-work faculty members Rafael Angulo, Mary Gress, Stephen Hydon and Jolene Swain.

For further information on this event:
[email protected]

Official Website:

Added by kiracle on January 7, 2007