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Pixote [Import]

 Unrated   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 173.83
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Hector Babenco, who went on to direct the acclaimed Kiss of the Spiderwoman, made an international splash with this gritty portrait of juvenile poverty and street crime in Brazil. Pixote (Portuguese slang for "Peewee") is the name of a chubby-cheeked 10-year-old runaway played by real-life slum kid Fernando Ramos da Silva. He's a natural, creating a childlike and vulnerable character left emotionally hardened and morally adrift by his brutal experiences. In an overcrowded São Paulo "reform school," a cross between a prison and an army barracks, he learns the hard facts of survival as he watches gangs prey on weaker kids, and the cops and guards abuse, beat, and even murder their charges. Pixote escapes and turns to street crime in Rio with a small gang, but his dreams of big money and a good life are dashed as they play at crime in a violent kill-or-be-killed world. Equal parts exposé and social drama, Pixote dramatizes the plight of millions of children who live on the streets or get ground up in the system that breeds hardened criminals from juvenile delinquents. Like Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados, one of Babenco's inspirations, this occasionally melodramatic portrait of poverty is shocking and affecting, but no more so than da Silva's own life story. After completing the film he sank back into poverty and crime, and died on the streets. His life became the subject of the 1996 film Who Killed Pixote?, which showed that despite the outcry created by Pixote, Brazil has done little to alleviate these conditions. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "PIXOTE" - Its still this way in Rio now! July 26 1999
Format:VHS Tape
After living, teaching and coaching in Brazil for some 5 years, remembering mainly "beautiful" things, I often pop in this video to remember the brutality and violence that can be found on the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Tourists are often isolated from this violence, however, it is indeed real! This is a fantasitic film - and yes, The American "tourist" in the movie deserves his final fate .. Pixote does not!
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By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
A deeply disturbing and heartbreaking neo-realist film, about an abandoned, unwanted 10 year old living first in a reformatory, and then on Brazil's mean streets.

The performances Babenco gets from his non-professional cast are amazing, especially his tiny young lead.

The film almost totally avoids the twin traps of false sentimentality (although it's got plenty of emotion), or needless flashiness. It occasionally feels aimless, but somehow, in the end, always adds up.

Probably the weakest, most problematic moment is the opening, where the `director' (Babenco, or an actor?) tells us that these actors are real people, gives us some facts and figures about them, and tells that their lives are much like those shown in the film.

It then took me the first few minutes of the movie to forget about that, and get involved with the characters, and not get all intellectually caught up the artistic complexities of `real people' playing a dramatic variation on their lives.

So perhaps I don't consider this terrific, important film a 'perfect' masterpiece as so many do- but I deeply admire it and respect it, would encourage everyone to see it (though you doubtless find the experience upsetting) and look forward to seeing it a third time. You will never be able to look at a poor kid on the street quite the same way again.

And I'm thrilled that after years of waiting, a proper 1:85 release is available, on Amazon.us. Yes, it's DVD-R, which means it may not play on your computer, theoretically will have a shorter shelf life, and has no extras. But after years where this important, influential film was out of print and very difficult to see - and when you could find it it was a terribly transferred 4:3 VHS based version that someone wanted $60 for - this is a big step in the right direction
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5.0 out of 5 stars too strong for words June 13 2004
By A Customer
Although I am a person who is usually never at a loss for words, all I can say right now is that you MUST see this film. It is too good, too heartwrenching, and too powerful for me to even remotely try to do it justice. This is what real filmmaking is about. Hector Babenco is a genius!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful insight!! May 18 2004
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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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent film Jan. 23 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I would recommend this film to anyone who interested in the topic of street children. This film bodly represents the struggles of a young boy trying to find a place in a society that does not want him. There is much graphic nudity but I feel it is needed to capture the viewers attention and suck them into the world of the street child.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pixote Jan. 22 2004
By Bart
Format:VHS Tape
I thought that this movie was a real eye-opener! I didn't know that you could film child nudity/pornography. I thought that the basic plot of the street kids and reformitories was good. When it began to stray from the basic plot that is when I thought the movie went downhill. I would not recommend this movie to any of my friends. I would only recommend watching this if you are are very bored and want to expand your horizons about child sexuality.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Resumen Critico por Erik Nelson April 30 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Esta pelicula fue hecho por Hector Babenco en el pais de Brasil. Lo hico con el proposito de mostrara al mundo las problemas que los ninos Brasilenos tienen en las ciudades grandes. La pelicula fue hecho en las ciudades de Rio de Janeiro y Sao Paulo. Se trata de la vida dura de los ninos que viven en las calles. Babenco uso verdaderos ninos de la calle para los actores en la pelicula. La pelicula emiepza con los ninos recogidos por la policia. Llevan los ninos y los meten en un reformatorio adonde se ponen peor en ves de mejor. Los ninos salen, incluyendo Pixote, que es el nombre del actor principal. Salen y viven en la calle robando y tambien empiezan a vender drogas. Varios amigos de Pixote se mueren por varios razones. Hasta Pixote mata a varios personas tambien. Al fin de la pelicula Pixote se sale solo porque se murieron o le abandonaron todos sus amigos. Nos deja con un imagen triste. El proposito de terminarlo haci es para que la gente del mundo se de cuenta de las problemas que existen para los ninos. Esta pelicula en mi opinion era mas o menos. Era un poco dificil de ver. Habia muchos imagenes feos. Creo que estas imagenes eran necesarios para mostrar las problemas que de verdad existen. Era una pelicula interesante.
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