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Juan David Restrepo
In 1970, near the World Cup, Daniel Stern and his wife Miriam leaves Belo Horizonte in a hurry and scared with their ten years old son Mauro in their Volkswagen. While traveling to São Paulo, the couple explains Mauro that they will travel on vacation and will leave Mauro with his grandfather Mótel. Daniel promises to return before the first game of the Brazilian National Soccer Team in the Cup. The boy is left in Bom Retiro, a Jewish and Italian neighborhood, and waits for Mótel in front of his apartment. When the next door neighbor Shlomo arrives, he tells the boy that Mótel had just had a heart attack and died. Alone and without knowing where his parents are, the boy is lodged by Shlomo and the Jewish community. Through the young neighbor Hanna, Mauro makes new friends, cheers for the Brazilian team and sees the movement of the police and militaries on the streets while waiting for his parents.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The premise appears simple, but that's only on surface. Suddenly, the country is divided between the euphoria of the 1970 World Cup (in which Brazil was champion for the third time) and the anguish of the dictatorship. That could be good material for biting social critique, but the movie takes a radically different path. It follows the life of a kid, whose parents are leaving for "vacations". He's left at his grandfather's apartment, only to find out that he died hours before his arrival. Finding himself in the unnatural environment of a Jewish community, having no news about his parents and having to live with a grumpy old man, he finds comfort in football and everything that deals with it.
Fans of the hyperactivity and non-linearity of City Of God will have to expect a completely different style here. While there are flashes of comedy and quirkiness, the movie is very focused and delicately paced. There isn't a lot that can be told here, really, and I won't go on spoiling the story. Check it out for yourself, if only to witness the clashing contrast between two opposite realities in a way no history book could deliver.
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