Pixote

Director: Hector Babenco
Year Released: 1981
Rating: 2.0

Grossly overrated 'natural' film by Brazilian Babenco about lost youth - I'm a fan of the Neorealist pictures from Italy, but this tries really hard to shock you. 10-year-old Pixote (pronounced 'Peh-shoat', I think) and delinquent pals engage in gobs of immoral behavior, killing, stealing, raping each other - none have developed a social conscience or progressed past the most primal mental state - and generally try to survive. First hour is a dull drain, but it picks up in the second when these unwanted misfits travel to Rio and team up with a drug dealer and a prostitute (if anything, the picture at least becomes less visually murky). Babenco is too obsessed with the homosexual relationship between two of the boys - the picture gets easily distracted by it - and Pixote himself is merely a tag-along who just spies on what everyone is doing (look at what he sees! he's only 10! isn't it all shocking?). It's easy to see how this influenced Harmony Korine's Kids (filmed some 14 years later), but I wanted to call UNICEF.