Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil film director Eduardo Coutinho stabbed to death

The acclaimed Brazilian film director Eduardo Coutinho has been stabbed to death at his home in Rio de Janeiro.

Police say they believe the 80-year-old film maker was killed by his son, who then allegedly attacked his mother, before injuring himself.

Both are being treated in hospital.

Eduardo Coutinho was considered one of Brazil's greatest documentary directors and had recently been invited into the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Among his best known films are Edificio Master, Twenty Years Later, Babilonia 2000 and Playing.

Brazilian media reports say the 41-year-old Daniel Coutinho suffers from mental health problems.

'Liberation'

In a press conference, a police investigator said the director's son knocked on a neighbour's door after the attack saying he had "liberated his father".

"He committed these atrocities and knocked on the neighbour's door, not making sense, not saying the right words," Rivaldo Barbosa, the director of Rio's police homicide department, told reporters.

Daniel Coutinho allegedly went back to his parents' flat and waited for the ambulance teams to arrive.

Mr Coutinho's wife, Maria das Dores, survived because she managed to lock herself in the bathroom after being stabbed several times, Mr Barbosa said.

With a career spanning over four decades and more than 20 films, Eduardo Coutinho had Brazil's most prestigious cinema award.

His work provided a candid insight into the lives of regular Brazilians.

He is said to have been planning to shoot a new documentary on the 2013 protests against corruption, football World Cup spending and poor public services.

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