parents.jpg(O Ano em que Meus Pais Saíam de Féias)
Gullane Films / Caos Produções / Miravista
Tribeca Film Festival

In Brazil in the summer of 1970, a 12 year-old boy living with his two parents can imagine no greater thrill than seeing his country take the World Cup. Beyond his dreams and imagination and love of football, however, politics have taken hold of the nation. In the opening moments of this film, young Mauro is hurried into the car as his mother and father drive him to spend the summer with his grandfather in a suburb of São Paulo while they go “on vacation.” Surrounded by Jewish and Italian neighbors, the young boy comes of age over that summer leading up to the Cup. This was the first film I saw at Tribeca this year, and it has raised the expectations all around. Director, Cao Hamburger takes us on an enchanting journey into this culture through Mauro’s eyes. With the charming music of Beto Villares, the picture lives in a rare place of harmony. It is endearing without being overly sentimental. It is funny without being hammy, and it is dramatic and, at times, frightening, without using the backdrop of history as a playing surface. The wonderful characters and performances in this film can surely stand up to any landscape or period, but they certainly evoke the blessings and curses of this one. When you go to see this one at the cinema (perhaps when it gets national distribution so that it may be nominated for Best Foreign Film), I’m sure you will have a similar experience. You will see a young boy be transplanted into an entirely new world, and the diverse group of friends and neighbors that rally around him like a mother hen. It is a remarkable film, and a beautiful fable.