Héctor Babenco, Argentine-born Brazilian film director, producer and screenwriter, Died at 70

Héctor Eduardo Babenco was born on February 7, 1946, and died on July 13, 2016.

He was an Argentine-born Brazilian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor.

Hector worked in several countries including Argentina, Brazil and the United States. His best known films are Pixote (1980), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Ironweed (1987), At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1990) and Carandiru (2003).

Barbenco was raised in Mar del Plata.

Barbenco’s mother, Janka Haberberg, was a Polish-Jewish immigrant, and his father, Jaime Babenco, who was an Argentine gaucho of Ukrainian-Jewish origin.

Héctor Babenco resided in Europe from 1964 to 1968.

During 1969, Hector decided to stay in São Paulo, Brazil permanently.

During 1975, Hector directed his first feature film, King of the Night.

He had an international success with Pixote, A lei do mais fraco (1981).

Which concerns Brazil’s abandoned children.

During the words of E. Ruby Rich while it concerns “a pair of boys who form a symbiotic sexual union”, the film cannot “be held up as an example of how gay desire can be depicted, given its sensationalistic and sordid treatment of gay sex as accommodation, substitution, and punishment”.

Becasue of the impressive work of young actor Fernando Ramos da Silva, 10 years old at the time, who was discovered in the suburbs of São Paulo. The film received numerous prizes.

And, for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Héctor Babenco was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, the first Latin American to be nominated in this category.

During 1994, Héctor Babenco fell ill and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant to treat a lymphatic cancer.

Héctor directed some of the most respected American actors of his time, including William Hurt, John Lithgow, Raul Julia, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Tom Berenger, Daryl Hannah, Aidan Quinn and Kathy Bates.

Héctor last film was My Hindu Friend (2016), which stars Willem Dafoe.

Héctor Babenco passed away at 70 years old.