Pixote (a Lei do Mais Fraco)

Dir: Héctor Babenco

Brazil

1981

128

tbc

Cast:

Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Julião, Gilberto Moura

Like a bullet to the heart, Hector Babenco’s visceral, documentary-like portrait of Brazil’s delinquent youth has lost none of its power nearly four decades after its release. Newly restored by Cineteca di Bologna and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, we’re delighted to be able to bring this affecting world cinema treasure to Archive Screening Day.

Made in the spirit of Italian neo-realism, Pixote follows a group of boys from the horrors of reform school to their escape onto the streets of São Paulo, where the only economies open to them are sex and drugs. Abandoned by those that were meant to protect them, the boys are forced to improvise to survive. The plot revolves around the 11-year-old Pixote, who is used as a child criminal in muggings and drug transport.

Throughout this chilling masterpiece, it’s the empty stare of Pixote that penetrates deepest, especially in the knowledge that the young actor was shot and killed by the police just a few years after the film was made. Laden with awards upon its release, this social critique and moving drama will stay with you for decades to come.

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