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Pixote

4.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Hector Babenco's scathing and heartbreaking story of Pixote (Fernando Ramos Da Silva), a sweet-looking streetwise 10-year-old boy who is one of the three million homeless children living on the streets of S�o Paolo, Brazil, is based on the novel INFANCIA DOS MORTOS by Jos� Louzeiro. Forced to endure brutal conditions at a prisonlike reform school, Pixote befriends Lilica (Jorge Juliano), an older transvestite; her boyfriend, Dito (Gilberto Moura); and young charmer Chico (Edilson Lino). Together the four escape the reform school and struggle to survive in a desolate world of poverty and violence. Traveling in the underworlds of S�o Paolo and Rio, the makeshift family of boys turn to a lives of petty crime to support themselves. Homeless, the boys are forced to endure hunger and extreme danger as they begin dealing drugs and eventually end up working with Sueli, a burnt-out prostitute (Mar�lia P�ra in a devastatingly powerful performance) who seduces her johns while the boys rob them at gunpoint. This gritty and painful examination of Brazil's forgotten children is reminiscent of Luis Bu�uel's film about urban poverty and juvenile delinquency, LOS OLVIDADOS, while the character of Pixote, played by real-life homeless boy Da Silva, is a direct descendant of Fran�ois Truffaut's unforgettable protagonist Antoine Doinel from THE 400 BLOWS. Babenco's use of a largely nonprofessional cast and a powerful story combines to make one of the most haunting portrayals of childhood ever filmed. Furthering the film's relevance is the sad note that Da Silva died only a few years after starring in the film--shot by police who mistook him for a criminal. In 1996, WHO KILLED PIXOTE?, a documentary about the life and death of Fernando Ramos Da Silva, was released.

Special Features

  • Director's Profile

Product Details

  • Actors: Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Julião, Gilberto Moura, Edilson Lino, Zenildo Oliveira Santos
  • Directors: Hector Babenco
  • Writers: Hector Babenco, Jorge Durán, José Louzeiro
  • Producers: Hector Babenco, Jose Pinto, Paulo Francini, Sylvia B. Naves
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056PNB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,149 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pixote" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is perhaps one of the most accurate depictions of life on the streets for millions of homeless, and parentless, children around the world. Vivid. Hard-hitting. Certainly not for the weak of stomach. Pixote tells the straight story of a young child's search for "familia", security and the realization of every child's dream for opportunity...... and of the sex, drugs, loneliness, violence and brutality that he finds instead in the streets. A great learning tool for students, social workers, law enforcement and those in the ministry: you will NEVER view street children the same after watching this. (...)
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Format: VHS Tape
I saw this film in the theater as a first release movie and still remember its disturbing images to this day. While most movies show the innocent dream world we like to think children live in, Pixote slithers and crawls through a dark and surreal world unknown to most of us -- yet it is a world with recondite beauty because Pixote knows no other. We see things happen that would be totally unacceptable in the antiseptic world of civilization but our little protagonists does not seem to see his world as anything but normal. With the self-survival morals of any jungle animal, he goes about his day-to-day life. And this juxtaposing of morals leads to a little bit of an internal conflict with the viewer before the end of the movie. I highly recommend this film to anyone but would warn you that if the "Pollyanna" world of children is what you think exists and want to see, this film with keep you awake for quiet a few nights.
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Format: DVD
Hector Babenco's tale of homeless children in Brazil is devastating. Must rank with some of the great films ever.

The film stars 10-year old Fernando Ramos da Silva, who was an illiterate kid plucked from the streets of Sao Paulo. At the beginning of the film, a judge has been murdered and kids are rounded up and sent to a reformatory. Pixote witnesses a brutal rape his first night. He quickly adapts to the chaotic and often inhumane atmosphere. Corrupt police pin the crime on one of Pixote's friends and brutally murder him. They pin his murder on a second friend, and proceed to kill him.

Pixote and friends escape to the streets of Sao Paulo where they resume their life of crime. The friends are Lillica, a transvestite soon to turn 18, Dito, Lillica's lover and ring-leader, and Chico. The friends meet Cristal, a drug dealer who sends them to Rio to sell cocaine. A drug deal gone awry costs Chico his life and Pixote kills the perpetrator, a prostitute named Debora. The three boys hook up with another prostitute named Sueli, played by Marilia Pera in an unforgettable performance.

There is a sadness in Pixote's eyes that is unforgettable. He accepts his descent into hell in a matter-of-fact manner. Viewers will have difficulty deciding whether he sympathetic or not. He is only ten, has a baby face, and faces horrible circumstances. At the same time, he is an eager participant in the crimes that take place. The portrayal of what Brazil's awful conditions do to the young and innocent is heartbreaking.
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Format: DVD
PIXOTE: THE SURVIVAL OF THE WEAKEST
[Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco]

(Brazil - 1981)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono

Hector Babenco's third feature provides a harrowing and squalid glimpse into an alien culture beset by an all-consuming poverty. Chronicling the life and crimes of ten-year-old homeless boy Pixote (pronounced 'Pi-chott' or 'Pi-chott-ay', and played with remarkable sincerity by non-professional actor Fernando Ramos da Silva) in the slums of Sao Paulo, it follows him down the path of petty thievery to his brief stay in a reformatory where violence is a way of life, to his eventual escape and descent into murder. The only shafts of light are provided by his friends, fellow outcasts whose attempts to rise above their appalling circumstances are almost inevitably doomed to failure, and by an alcoholic prostitute (the luminous Marilia Pera) who unwittingly precipitates their downfall. In the end, only one of the characters emerges from the debris, returning to the slums where life - such as it is - goes on much the same as before. It isn't a pretty picture, nor can it ever be.

Though depressing and unlikeable, PIXOTE is virtually critic-proof. Based on a novel by Jose Louzeiro, Babenco's film offers an outraged response to the crushing hardships suffered by millions of homeless street kids in Sao Paulo who turn to crime to sustain themselves and are exploited by criminal gangs because of a loophole in Brazilian law which forbids the prosecution of minors. Most scandalous of all are the corrupt police officers who participate in the murder of countless street children every year, treating it as a form of 'pest control'.
Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
Disturbingly realistic fictional tale of a south american street urchin. Considered damnable and pornographic in some circles for its depiction of child rape, prostitution, and murder. DaSilva's paradoxical portrayal of the baby-faced Pixote sends an apocalyptic "this could happen here given the circumstances" warning to all cultures and strata of society. The fatalistic "life-imitating-art" eventuality of actor DaSilva's real-life death in a police shootout a scant few years after the release of "Pixote" adds a chilling footnote that underscores the film's social commentary.
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