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You are in: Home > 2003. 51st Edition  > Awards and Jury Members > Official Selection Jury Members > HECTOR BABENCO

Born in Buenos Aires in 1946.Travelled at the age of 18 to Europe where he held a variety of jobs for a period of five years. Unable to return to Argentina due to having deserted from the army, he decided to settle in Brazil. In 1975 he directed his first film O rei da noite.Two years later he made Lucio Flavio, o passageiro da agonia, denouncing the death squads and relations between paramilitaries, the police and the drug mafia.The film became one of the biggest hits in the history of Brazilian cinema, hence permitting him to take a deeper look at a similar subject in his next film, Pixote, a lei do mais fraco (1981).This movie, considered along with Buñuel’s Los olvidados and Les 400 coups by Truffaut as one of the most important films ever made about the world of young misfits, brought Babenco international success and made him into one of Latin American cinema’s leading directors.

Hollywood opened its doors to him and in 1985 he directed Kiss of the Spider Woman, an adaptation of the book by Manuel Puig starring William Hurt, Raul Julia and Sonia Braga. Babenco continued to work until the early nineties in Hollywood where he shot two more films: Ironweed (1987) and At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991). Having recovered from a near-fatal lymphatic cancer, in 1998 Babenco made his most personal film, Foolish Heart, based on autobiographical events. In 2001 he started to prepare Carandiru, his latest film, shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.


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