33 who are born into poverty and crime from which there is no escape. The movie was an exploration of social inequalities in Brazil that have grown even more pronounced since the film was made. https://www.youtube.com/embed/dcUOO- 4Itgmw Minority Report (2002) Released in the same year as City of God, this is a very different description of a megacity in a sci-fi crime story set in Washington of the future. Sleek glass towers are patrolled by special “pre-crime” police, car chases take place in the air, and computers are screen projections of data that can be manipulated with a wave of the hand. This is a city in a world where the digital revolution that was dawning at the turn of this century is now complete. The movie’s look inspired many filmmakers, designers, and architects, effectively shaping some design ideas of the future. https://www.youtube.com/embed/lG7DG- MgfOb8 Slumdog Millionaire (2008) Another look at harsh life in the slums of a large city—this time as a true story of an or- phan’s rise from the streets of Mumbai. India’s pace of growth has been relentless in the last 15 years, but its megacities’ congestion and social contrasts have not diminished. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Jwi- U94p9XPA Contagion (2011) Director Steven Soderbergh starts up his epidemic thriller story in Hong Kong. After SARS, Asia became an obvious suspect in any global health scare, and the megacity’s density of population made it a perfect location for that scenario. Hong Kong residents were not too happy about this portrayal of their beau- tiful city as a breeding ground for viruses, but the star-studded action thriller was a major Hollywood movie. Key scenes take place at the HK airport, Intercontinental Hotel, and Princess Margaret Hospital, all types of loca- tions where a major epidemic might spread. The film’s plot highlights the dangers that any dense population and exotic cuisine habits pose to worldwide health. The all-star cast is easy on the eye, but this doomsday scenario of worldwide infections spreading at lightning speed feels very scary. https://www.youtube.com/embed/4sYS- yuuLk5g 28 Days Later (2003) Another take on what a virus could do to masses of people in big cities, this is a sci-fi sto- ry about a megacity that becomes completely empty—devoid of any people in the streets or any moving objects such as cars, buses, planes, or boats. This is a vision of London in which the population was wiped out by a mysterious virus, leaving just a few people wandering around the space normally occupied by 10 million inhabitants. Although technically a zombie horror, the best parts of the movie are those astonishing shots of a megacity with all the humans removed. Shot on a small budget before CGI was available, these are actual shots of Westminster Bridge shot at 5:00 AM some 25 years ago. https://www.youtube.com/embed/c7yn- wAgQlDQ Elysium (2013) One of the best movies about a possible and not-so-distant future. In the year 2154, the wealthy few percent live on a space station in health and luxury, whereas the rest of mankind toils on an Earth that looks like one big land- fill. Matt Damon plays a man who is trying to save his friends, find a cure for his ravaged body, and make Elysium available to more than just a few. The movie was directed by Neil Blomkamp, a South African director who earli- er made the genius sci-fi movie District 9. Both movies are biting social commentaries set in a very creative sci-fi environment. In Elysium, both the technology of the space station and the ubiquitous robots managing the “colony”