Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Pixote (1981)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Pixote (1981, Brazil) (aka Pixote: A Lei Do Mais Fraco, or Survival of the Weakest)

In director Hector Babenco's neo-realistic urban drama about delinquent youth, with its many grim and disturbing images of Third World urban poverty among wayward Brazilian children in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero:

  • the extradiegetic opening or prologue: director Babenco (standing before the city's slum area known as a favela) as he described the plight of Sao Paulo's street children in Brazil; he explained how there were three million homeless children, and Brazilian law prevented anyone under the age of 18 to be prosecuted for criminal offenses
  • the death of a judge - in the opening scene, who was pushed under a car and killed, resulting in dozens of young, impoverished, and desperate boys being rounded up as suspects and placed in a juvenile reformatory in Sao Paulo (known as Febem), run by tyrannical Sapato (Jardel Filho)
  • the early dark nighttime dormitory scene when 10 year-old orphaned and abandoned boy Pixote (Fernando Ramos da Silva) witnessed a boy's violent gang-rape in a nearby bunk, that led to his death
  • a shower-room sequence of naked boys including young Pixote, soaping up with older boys who flirted with him
  • Pixote's glue-sniffing from a canister as an escape for his dreary situation, and his subsequent hallucination that he was running naked down a street away from authorities, and his treatment for an overdose
Pixote's Glue-Sniffing
Pixote's Hallucination: Running Naked Away From Authorities
  • the dumping of the badly-beaten body of Fumaça (Zenildo Oliveira Santos) on a trash heap landfill after he was questioned by corrupt cop, Almir (João José Pompeu), who wanted to pin the judge's murder on him
Death of Fumaca - Dumped On Trash Heap Landfill
Death of Lilica's Lover in His Arms
  • as a cover-up for the death of Fumaça, the officials framed (and blamed) the lover of 17 year-old trans-female and transvestite hustler Lilica (Jorge Julião) and ultimately killed him by bludgeoning him with an axe handle; he died in Lilica's arms
  • once they fled from the prison, the group of delinquent boys with Pixote (including effeminate gay Lilica, 'her' future-boyfriend Dito (Gilberto Moura), and Chico (Edilson Lino)) engaged in illicit street activities in Sao Paulo that included pick-pocketing and purse-snatching
  • when selling cocaine in Rio de Janiero, the boys were duped by peroxided bar showgirl Debora (Elke Maravilha), ultimately leading to Debora's abdomen stabbing by Pixote, and the death of Chico during the brawl
Chico and Pixote Duped by Showgirl Debora
Pixote's Stabbing of Debora
  • the remaining boys' association with aging prostitute Sueli (Marilia Pera), and the disturbing shot of Sueli's bloody, self-aborted fetus in a bloody bucket in a bathroom while she sat on the toilet, as she talked to Pixote
  • to make money, the scenes of the gang's theft of Sueli's johns at gunpoint during her sexual encounters
  • after Pixote shot and accidentally killed his own friend Dito and then turned the gun on a gray-haired john and murdered him as well with three gunshots, the scene of Pixote suckling hungrily at the breast of Sueli (a distorted portrait of La Pieta) - a mother figure; while suckling, she told him: "Baby, suck it. Mummy's with you" until it hurt and she pushed him away: "Take your dirty mouth off me"; she told him that she didn't want to care for him anymore
Double-Murder Scene:
Pixote's Accidental Murder of Dito (on left)
Murder of Sueli's Elderly John
Pixote with Gun
  • in the final scene, Pixote (with a gun in his hand) walked toward and then away from the camera, attempting to balance himself on a set of railroad tracks as he disappeared into the distance, before a fade-out and the ending credits were displayed (white letters on black)

Opening Prologue

Pixote Watching Gang-Rape From Nearby Bunk

(l to r): Shower Room - Pixote and others

Pickpocketing and Purse-Snatching on the Streets of Sao Paulo

Sueli's Aborted Fetus

The Gang Robbing Sueli's Johns During Sex

Pixote Suckling on Motherly Sueli's Breast

Ending Scene


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