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The Year My Parents Went on Vacation

Art House & International movie directed by Cao Hamburger

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A Child's Mind: The Door to Understanding

  • Aug 8, 2008
  • by
O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION) is an amazing little film from Brazil written by Adriana Falcão and Claudio Galperin and directed with panache by Cao Hamberger. It tackles many important issues (political upheaval, religion, ghettos, soccer, aging and more) while telling a very tender story about a young lad forced into a change of life that builds his character and his appreciation for the global community. It works on every level.

The year is 1970, the place is São Paulo during the World Cup Soccer Games, and we meet the young Mauro (Michel Joelsas) as he is swept away from his home by his frantic parents to live in São Paulo with his grandfather: his parents tell him they are going on 'vacation' while in reality they are escaping the dictatorial 'disappearances' that challenged the Brazil of the time. The grandfather lives in the Jewish ghetto and Mauro soon discovers that his would be host has just died. He meets the adjoining neighbor, grumpy old Shlomo (Germano Haiut), who begrudgingly takes Mauro in and allows him to pursue his obsession with soccer. The story winds through the disparities of Jewish life and the governmental changes that are disrupting the flow of this important year for Brazil (there are many film clips of the famous player Pelé which add to the tenor of the story), and as Mauro makes friends with a little girl Hanna (Daniela Piepszyk) the two children are confronted with the realities of political strife and the glories of Brazil's World Cup. By keeping the narrative (in Portuguese, Yiddish and German) to a minimum the beauty of viewing the world and its incongruities through the eyes of children becomes even more touching.

This is one of those films that allows us a vantage of longstanding problems and gives us a fresh view - a factor that helps our understanding of traumas of the history and awareness of similar traumas of the present. Hamberger delivers it with tenderness and is greatly assisted by the artistic cinematography of Adriano Goldman and the musical score by Beto Villares. It is a film well worth seeing at least once! Grady Harp, August 08

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More The Year My Parents Went on Va... reviews
review by . June 21, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Poignant, sad, fabulously well acted film. Not a masterpiece, but this film is incredibly touching and so worth watching.    Set in 1970 Brazil. We follow several months in the life of an 11 year old boy. The title is a euphemism for the year that my parents went away to protest the Brazilian military rule. They know it's too dangerous for their son, so they leave him with the boy's father. The parents drop Mauro off in front of his grandfather's apartment building; promising …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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About this movie


Item Name: The Year My Parents Went on Vacation; Studio: City Lights Home Vid
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Director: Cao Hamburger
Genre: Foreign
DVD Release Date: July 15, 2008
Runtime: 110 minutes
Studio: City Lights Home Vid
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