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O Ano Em Que Meus Pais Saíram De Férias | The Year My Parents Went Away on Vacation

Unbalanced and unoriginal
By GERALD PEARY  |  April 2, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
Michel Joelsas

It’s Brazil 1970, and 12-year-old Mauro (Michel Joelsas) is too obsessed with Pelé to notice that his left-wing parents are flipping out over the country’s military regime. Avowed enemies of the state, they drop their son off at his grandpa’s home and go “on vacation,” disappearing underground to avoid arrest. But Mauro’s grandfather is dead, so the lad ends up in the care of a sour-tempered old Orthodox Jew, Shlomo (Germano Haiut), surely the only Brazilian anywhere who’s indifferent to his country’s progress in the World Cup. Cao Hamburger’s film mixes offputting, mainstream sentimentality (you knew this would be Brazil’s Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee) with terrifying political moments in which the rightist thuggery of Brazil’s then-government feels vivid and real. Unfortunately, the balance of the movie tips to the coy-boy protagonist and how he warms up to the ultra-religious Yid with — surprise! — a heart of gold. Portuguese | 105 minutes | Kendall Square
Related: Dumb and dumber, Africa's invisible slaves, Theater of war, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Armed Forces, Dictatorships
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