Grew Up… with a “hood” for a brother. Rocket learned from his brother Goose about the good, bad, and ugly of being a poor hoodlum in the City of God, a “favela” (slum) in Rio de Janeiro. There were enough armed robberies in his neighborhood to seduce some of the children into a life of crime and scare others straight. Rocket is pretty sure he’s one of the guys who got scared straight.
Living… on the edge in Rio. He’s trying to be a photographer in one of the most dangerous parts of the world. Which means he just might make a name for himself – if he doesn’t get killed in the process. Even though he grew up with a lot of the local drug dealers and criminals, he’s still a possible target of their cruel and ruthless violence.
Profession… aspiring photojournalist. Rocket takes a job working for a local paper, but he’s starting at the bottom of the barrel. The best he can hope for is to land the perfect shot, to capture the chaos and beauty of the City of God in a single photo and propel himself to the top of the professional ladder. Or die trying.
Interests… marijuana, self-improvement, and cameras. Rocket’s intelligence and ambition to get out sets him apart in the place where he grew up. Although he’s as much a product of the City of God as any hood, he’s able to stand back and view it through a distant lens. Rocket analyzes the benefits and detriments of a life of crime, and this insight ends up being his ticket to escape.
Relationship Status… single. Rocket is constantly trying to lose his virginity, especially with the beautiful “hippy” girl Anjelica. But his attempts at love and lust are constantly thwarted by other hoods and by Rocket’s own lack of money, drugs, and the charm of a criminal.
Challenge… escaping the City of God. They say in the favela, “If you run, the beast catches; if you stay, the beast eats.” That basically means you’re stuck – damned if you do and damned if you don’t. But Rocket has a special ingenuity. He has greater things in mind. Despite toying with robbery for a brief stint, Rocket is a man of honor and repute.
Personality… determined and observant. He’s a listener. He likes to have fun as much as the next hood, but unlike some of his childhood friends, Rocket has limits. He wields a camera instead of a gun and he shoots images instead of bullets. If everything goes according to plan, he just might prove that the pen (or the picture) is indeed mightier than the sword.
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