Pixote (Fernando Ramos da Silva) Being Taken Away…

We like to think that we are helping children by being so lenient on them till they are adults, but just like criminalizing homosexuality, it can have unintended consequences. In 1980’s Brazil and likely still today, many impoverished children were living with little to no parents and since they were treated with kid gloves, adult criminals used them to do their dirty deeds. Director Hector Babenco took actual Brazilian children and shot a fictionalized version of what was happening.

On The Right Is The Lead Actor

The film begins with a short introduction to the situation in Brazil and the actor playing the main character Pixote. Then we see a round-up of the usual suspects–the kids. From a police station, Pixote is taken to a reformatory that is really a storehouse of kids to take the fall for crimes or commit them themselves. The kids either die, turn 18, or escape.

Kids Brought Back After A Couple Of Murders

A Dying Kid Whose Body Will Be Dumped And His Murder Pinned On Another Kid

Luckily, sort of, for Pixote, him and some of his friends stage a prison break and get out into the real world where they survive the only way they know how:

They Start With Purse Snatching

Things turn tragic after that. The film can be graphic at times, but there is nothing particularly gruesome, just very disturbing. It’s filled with the bright colors you would expect from Brazil and a 1980’s film, but the horrors stand in stark contrast. After I finished watching it, I looked it up on IMDB to find that in 1987 at the age of 18, the lead actor Fernando Ramos da Silva died after police invaded his home and shot him. He had ended up in the same life of crime as his character Pixote. It can be tough to watch, but it shines a light on something that can’t be turned away from. I highly recommend it.