Street Kids
Street Kids
IDFA 1990

Street Kids

Gosses de rio
Thierry Michel
Frankrijk, België
48 min
Festival history
The Rat and the Chinese, two boys who were raised by the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Two teenagers who fill their days with begging, stealing, dealing drugs, and sniffing glue. They are real pals, who have become each other's family. No one else cares for them. For Luis, the Rat, and Luciano, the Chinese, only one word is important: survival. The streetlife means waging a daily war: it is a matter of killing or being killed. And every day the fight becomes more fierce. The city is coming apart, the unemployment is skyhigh and families are torn apart by hunger and criminality.
The black, thirteen year old Luis survives this jungle by stealing, and he can also count on some help from youth gangs; some money, a little food, and protection against rivalling gangs. Luis is a sensitive, delicate, and intelligent boy. He does not at all answer to the stereo-type of a criminal gangmember. He hopes his life will change. The only security he has is that he will die. He dreams of a woman, of having children, and of possessing a house. Money is not worth much to him, he would like to work to make his dreams come true. But he realizes that the future does not look too good for him.
The Chinese is a seventeen year old black boy who shares his food as well as his poverty with Luis. He was left alone in the centre of Rio by his mother when he was three years old. Since, he leads the life of a 'streetdog', as he calls it. He has become the leader of a group of street urchins; he protects them and, if available, gives them food. He realizes that society does not reserve a place for him and that gradually, now he is beginning to grow up, he will have to make the step to capital crime. Before the end of the shooting period, the Chinese died a violent death. Suddenly, Luis must face the facts: now he is all alone in this war.
Thierry Michel followed these boys for a month in their daily life. It has resulted in a tragic document of a corrupt and violent world.
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    Les Films de la Passerelle
    Les Films de la Passerelle