Hector Babenco

Hector Babenco – Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (1981) (HD)

With a blend of harsh realism and aching humanity, Héctor Babenco’s international breakout Pixote offers an electrifying look at youth fighting to survive on the bottom rung of Brazilian society, and a stinging indictment of the country’s military dictatorship and police. In a heartbreaking performance, Fernando Ramos da Silva plays a young boy who escapes a nightmarish reformatory only to resort to a life of violent crime, even as he forms a makeshift family with some fellow outcasts. Abandoned by those that were meant to protect them, they are forced to survive with the only economies open to them: sex and drugs. Read More »

Hector Babenco – Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)


Kiss Of The Spider Woman takes place in an un-named, fascist country in South America. It is, essentially, a two-actor drama featuring two men, of vastly different demeanors and ideologies, who share the same cell in a brutal prison. Louis Molina (William Hurt) is a flamboyant homosexual window dresser who is imprisoned for corrupting a minor. His cellmate is Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia), a journalist jailed for his leftist political activities. To alleviate the day-to-day drudgery, Molina entertains Valentin by retelling the stories of his favorite movies. Read More »

Hector Babenco – At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)


In a remote branch of the Brazilian Amazon, Americans Lewis (Tom Berenger) and Wolf (Tom Waits) are stranded when their plane runs out of gas. They are kept company by an evangelist missionary (John Lithgow) and his wife (Darryl Hannah). The preacher and his followers want to preach to the primitive Niaruna Indians, while others are interested in the Niaruna for more diabolical reasons-specifically, business concerns that would like to claim the Indians’ land for development. The local police chief cuts a deal with the mercenaries Lewis and Wolf: if they will agree to bomb the Niarunas out of existence, they will be paid enough money to leave the country. Instead, Lewis, part Native American himself,aligns himself with the Niarunas. From this moment on, he and the tribe are doomed. A long-standing pet project of producer Saul Zaentz, At Play in the Fields of the Lord was adapted from the best-selling novel by Peter Matthiesen. Read More »

Hector Babenco – My Hindu Friend (2015)


His father has died, he doesn’t speak for his brother for about 10 years and he has a serious cancer. Diego is a talented film director with difficulty to deal with his sickness, which is making him lose his friends and family slowly. His best friend and doctor, Ricardo, gives him the news that he needs to have a bone marrow transplantation, otherwise he’ll die. He gets married to a beautiful woman, Livia, just before going to Seattle to get treatment. There, an enormous staff of doctors start to give him numerous medications and procedures. During treatment, he meets and Hindu boy, with whom he plays pretend and tells amazing stories. Odds are against him and when stakes are the highest, Diego gets a visit from a very Common Man… Read More »

Hector Babenco – Pixote (1981)

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The life of a boy in the streets of Sao Paulo, involved with little crimes, prostitution, etc

From Allmovie
Review by Jonathan Crow

Not since Luis Buñuel’s Los Olvidados has there been as savage and harrowing account of the plight of street kids or as damning a critique of Third World poverty and societal indifference. 10-year-old Pixote (“Pee Wee” in Portuguese) endures the brutalities of Brazil’s repressive, corrupt reform schools, where military death squads and juvenile prison rape are the norm, only to flee to the dubious freedom of Sao Paolo’s streets. Soon Pixote becomes a pimp, thief, and multiple murderer. Yet, through it all, the audience never loses sympathy for Pixote; director Hector Babenco makes clear that all Pixote wants and needs is a stable loving person in his life. Babenco’s work is in the same spirit as the 1940s Italian Neorealists who coupled a realist style with a keen sense of social injustice. His visual style is documentary-like and almost artless–a straightforward depiction of events. His true artistic feat lies in his handling of his actors, most of whom were street kids in real life. Read More »