Pixote

  • 1981
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime, Drama, Prison

A grim, disturbing and engrossing portrait of children living in poverty on the streets of Sao Paulo, PIXOTE is one of the most powerful films ever made on the subject of urban degradation. The story focuses on Pixote (da Silva), a boy abandoned by his parents, who becomes a streetwise pimp and eventually a murderer by the age of 10. The film depicts a...read more

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A grim, disturbing and engrossing portrait of children living in poverty on the streets of Sao Paulo, PIXOTE is one of the most powerful films ever made on the subject of urban degradation.

The story focuses on Pixote (da Silva), a boy abandoned by his parents, who becomes a streetwise pimp and eventually a murderer by the age of 10. The film depicts a life of unrelenting squalor and hopelessness, and director Babenco does not flinch from confronting his audience with the most grisly

details of his subjects' lives: violence in the reformatory; an aborted baby in a bucket in a bathroom; the young hero suddenly reverting to infancy, suckling at the breast of a momentarily sympathetic prostitute.

PIXOTE draws on a tradition of films in which innocence is stripped from the young, from Rossellini's GERMANY YEAR ZERO to Truffaut's THE 400 BLOWS. In its combination of a documentary-like approach influenced by neorealism with a sometimes surreal visual sense, it clearly owes most to Bunuel's

LOS OLVIDADOS. In fact, the director had originally intended to make a documentary and had completed 200 hours of interviews with reformatory children for this purpose. When he was denied further access to the reformatories, he turned to the streets and hired slum children to portray themselves,

building scenes around improvisation workshops that allowed the youths to contribute their own experiences to the picture. In 1986, in a tragic and ironic coda to the making of the film, da Silva was killed in a shootout with police after allegedly resisting arrest for an assault.

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  • Released: 1981
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A grim, disturbing and engrossing portrait of children living in poverty on the streets of Sao Paulo, PIXOTE is one of the most powerful films ever made on the subject of urban degradation. The story focuses on Pixote (da Silva), a boy abandoned by his p… (more)

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