Ok, when I said it is sopposed to be exploitative...that's not what I meant to say (infact, now I'm not atall sure what I was trying to say at that point). What I should have said is that it is not fair to say a film is bad because it is exploitative when it is inevetable that a film of this type will present us with a situation where we could argue weather or not it is exploitative. You could argue that City of God exploits Brazilians in the same way that you could argue that The Godfather exploits Italians, but I'm sure that the intention of the director in both of those cases was not to be exploitative. The argument I think could be made about COG is that it takes Brazilian slum districts and uses them simply as a platform on which to stage a gangster film. However when we see a film like Goodfellas, we don't imediately think of it as exploiting Italian Americans because we have already seen The Godfather. We have become familiar with a certain portrail of Italian Americans (which may well be unnjust)and the mafia has become a popular topic for American cinema. Since we have rarely or never seen a Brazilian gangster film, it is easy to single out COG as an exploitation. Incidentaly, when The Godfather came out and it was one of the first films to focus specificaly on Italians, it caused anger among the Italian American community, to the point that Francis Ford donated them a percentage of he film's profits and deleted the word "mafia" from the script.
I don't think that exploitation can be viewed as posotive, but I think it is justifiable when it is aplyed to art. If COG had mearly aimed to entertain a large audience, then I would be inclined to say that it was wrong.