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Pixote, in Memoriam (2007)

Pixote, in memorian (original title)
A tribute documentary on Fernando Ramos da Silva, the famous child star of the acclaimed film by Hector Babenco, "Pixote, a Lei do Mais Fraco" (1981). 20 years after his assassination by ... See full summary »


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Caco Barcellos Caco Barcellos ... Himself
Nick Cave ... Himself
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Marília Pêra ... Herself
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A tribute documentary on Fernando Ramos da Silva, the famous child star of the acclaimed film by Hector Babenco, "Pixote, a Lei do Mais Fraco" (1981). 20 years after his assassination by the police, his co-stars and Babenco talk about Fernando's contributions to the film, his troubled life when his acting works didn't took off as expected (since he was typecast) and which made him turn back to his past life of poverty and crimes. The project also presents that film's influence to many directors and artists around the world. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

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Portuguese | English

Release Date:

2007 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Pixote, in Memoriam See more »

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bigBonsai See more »
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References Manhattan (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Remembering Fernando Ramos da Silva
11 June 2019 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

"Pixote, A Lei do Mais Fraco" is one of the greatest Brazilian films ever made and a true classic that crossed barriers that conquered audiences all around the world, getting widespread acclaim in between critics and awards as well - a Golden Globe nomination as Best Foreign Film was its highest peak - and providing director Hector Babenco with a career in Hollywood with films such as "Kiss of the Spider Woman", "Ironweed" (both received Oscar nominations and William Hurt won an Oscar for the first film). What "Pixote" also gave us was a group of non-professional young actors in the major roles acting next to veterans like Marília Pêra, Jardel Filho and Rubens de Falco; and among those young talents there was Fernando Ramos da Silva playing the leading role of a street kid involved in all sorts of crimes and violent acts. Ramos was a poor kid, so he merely had to recreate things he witnessed, how his life were back in the slums of Diadema but he also got some training to become a great performer. Sadly, after the film he was typecast for criminal roles, and only appeared in handful of films in minor roles and one soap-opera, later on quitting acting and returning to a life of crimes that ultimately claimed his life at age 19 during a shootout with the police.

20 years after his death, "Pixote, In Memoriam" pays a tribute to Fernando, his involvement with the film and also about his tragic last years. Interviews with Babenco, major cast members and even the other three kids - who lived in similar conditions as Fernando - appear in the film (to me, it was the most fascinating aspect of the film even though only the performer of Lilica kept acting on plays while the other two were still living in poverty, but with honest jobs. The encounter between the two was really tearful); and there's also the presence of world fans of "Pixote" such as Spike Lee, Julian Schnabel and Nick Cave - who ] dedicated one of his albums to Fernando. All thoughtufl testimonies and interesting tellings about Babenco's casting process and how Fernando was cast, initially turned down but he managed to conquer Babenco and his casting directors to its impressive eyes and expressions.

This is more about the legacy and the sad ending of Ramos da Silva; this is about a reflection and an examination on how life imitates art and vice-versa. Here we had a child that lived on poverty, didn't have much opportunities in life then one knocked on his door - though playing an initially innocent child that turns into a life of crimes - he succeeds with it but life closed the doors on him after just offering the same kinds of roles when one wants to escape a reality he already lives each day; and he also lost interest in acting, quit studying and performing in community plays and then...he's robbing again. The question one may asks is what kind of turn Fernando could have give to his life? To accept the roles he was offered and see if they'll change? To insist in a career he loved and push harder in order to get different roles? Or one is condemned for life to never get out from one's past? His ultimate death proved the latter but with worst consequences.

We'll always remember him fondly, for his true nature, fine acting and great with improvisations. In the most Neo-Realist classic of Brazilian cinema, it's that final image of him walking down the train tracks that will always stick in our minds.

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