3 AM presents: Pixote


Pixote: a Lei do Mais Fraco is a 1981 Brazilian film directed by Hector Babenco.

The story is now a classic tale of urban drama in São Paulo, where young street children get involved in a life of crime and despair. Shot in a documentary style, Pixote was the seminal movie that introduced the grimy reality of Brazilian street culture to the international mainstream conscience. That the main actor was later killed by the police, in a tragic episode of coincidence between art and real life, only added to the film's mythical status and its influence on later works such as Cidade de Deus.

A product of a city and a country that went, at an amazing speed, from its third-world status to being one of the world's emergent superpowers, Pixote is a kind of opposite testimony  to the favela chic tendencies of the new century: there is no cute soundtrack, no friendly slum tours. There is no redemption for the evil, no salvation for the good, and no protection for the weak.