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The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (2006)

Paulo Autran , Caio Blat , Cao Hamburger  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paulo Autran, Caio Blat, Simone Spoladore, Michel Joelsas, Germano Haiut
  • Directors: Cao Hamburger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Yiddish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: City Lights Home Vid
  • DVD Release Date: July 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00195FU82
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,003 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation" on IMDb

Special Features

Interviews with cast and crew

Extended scenes and outtakes

Optional Spanish subititles

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Here we have a film that caught me off guard in so many ways. I did not know there would be such a cultural diversity shown in this film (prevalent Jewish community). The World Cup games being played at that time with Pele (film takes place in 1970, Sao Paulo) wove into another central theme not shown in the ads I saw. And knowing how dissidents were "taken care of" by the government during that period, I was amazed how this film addressed the topics of adults "taking vacations" (disappearing). This alternate viewpoint of how a child sees all of this, while still keeping the rating at PG, was done very well.

The story revolves around a 11/12 year old boy that is hurriedly dropped off at his grandparent's house in Sao Paulo so his parents can take a "vacation". Unbeknownst to his parents, the patriarch had passed away that day, but they left without discovering this. Now being left to fend for himself, some Jewish neighbors take him under their wing. The remainder of the film yields a beautiful story of how our boy learns about life, the World Cup, a dictatorship government, Jewish culture, and in the end - how to become a man years before his time.

Definitely the opposite of the City of God in seeing how children live in this city, but still eloquently told. A good family film, even if you don't speak either language (Yiddish, Portuguese). The subtitles did not display in every Yiddish scene, but I still got the jist of what was being said.

The DVD special features were ideal in discovering how a film like this gets made. And kudos to every actor/crew person interviewed (2 docus: Inside the Movie at 7 minutes and Interviews with the Cast and Crew at 10 minutes) as there was never that twinge of how "great" everyone is to work with and idolize.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A sad coming of age November 26, 2008
The year is 1970 and Brazil's soccer team is challenging to win the World Cup. Its successful campaign should have dominated 11-year-old Mauro's year. But his parents are Communists and Brazil is ruled by a brutal military regime. They have to go into hiding and decide to dump Mauro with his grandfather in Sao Paulo.
The problem is, as Mauro discovers when he knocks on the door of his grandfather's apartment, the old man has had a heart attack and died. Here the movie indulges in a moment of unreality that seriously spoiled it for me. Which parents would dump their 11 year-old kid outside an apartment and not knock on the door to hand him over? And yet, without this totally unbelievable moment, there is no movie.
It turns out that grandfather is an orthodox Jew, whereas Mauro's parents have brought him up in ignorance of his heritage and have not even had him circumcised. So he is thrown on the mercy of the old man who lives next door and an unlikely friendship eventually grows up between the young boy and the neighbor.
There are some sweet things in this movie -- the acting is good and the relationships well-developed. But one doesn't feel the rage and pain of an abandoned child, left by his parents with no proper explanation.
Brazil does win the Cup but that's the only point that is truly resolved. The movie ends on a bittersweet note without really processing the meaning or significance of the year he spent alone in Mauro's life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Child's Mind: The Door to Understanding August 8, 2008
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Year My Parents Went On Vacation is a powerful film September 27, 2008
The sport of soccer is a source of national pride for the people of Brazil during the World Cup. This is one theme in the movie The Year My Parents Went On Vacation. Another theme of the movie is the separation of children from their parents during the Cold War and the opppression of people during the military dictatorship. Director Cao Hamburger presents these themes in this beautiful movie set in Brazil in 1970.

I watched this movie with English subtitles. There are some brief parts in the movie with no English subtitles to accompany the Portuguese dialogue, but it didn't prevent me from understanding it. I like the friendship of young boy Mauro and the elderly Polish Jewish man who takes care of him after his grandfather dies. I also love the friendship between Mauro and Hanna in the movie. Michel Joelsas is an excellent young actor who gives an authentic performance as a boy separated from his parents in the lead role. The performance of all the other actors in the movie are excellent as well. I enjoyed watching the bonus features on this DVD. There are interviews with the director and members of the cast. This is a moving and informative film about a country I knew very little about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's really good!
Published 12 days ago by Ana Maria Carvalho
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
I love stories about kids and this one is very well told. It is a bittersweet movie...Loved it. Amazon has in fact a good selection of international movies.
Published 6 months ago by A. Gomez
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting movie about the dictatorship and repression in Brazil
The movie is very good. I'm upset though with the fact that Amazon doesn't allow movie to be downloaded on Macs. This sounds like a bit of a scam sale.
Published 9 months ago by Ana F. G.
5.0 out of 5 stars All about the Goy!
Ten-year old Mauro Stein, of Belo Horizonte in Brazil, is bewildered because his parents are going on vacation, but can't tell him where. Read more
Published 9 months ago by pipnuts
4.0 out of 5 stars Home alone to the extreme
12-year-old Mauro's parents are fleeing political oppression in 1970's Brazil, and drop Mauro off in front of his grandfather's apartment building on their way through the town he... Read more
Published 13 months ago by John Black
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
You will like the movie and it was well described by the above reviewers.

However the "product description" from Amazon is incorrect - there was no "Communist" regime in... Read more
Published on September 13, 2011 by RS
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie
This movie has a very well written plot with a touch of drama and humuor.
Published on October 8, 2010 by P. Gungor
3.0 out of 5 stars touching though sometimes superficial drama

Cao Hamburger`s "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation" is a poignant, if somewhat conventional, coming-of-age tale set in the politically charged world of early... Read more
Published on December 1, 2009 by Roland E. Zwick
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this movie so much I bought more copies for gifts!
The Year My Parents Went on Vacation is a beautifully told story which presents itself in a fashion that makes the viewer want to learn more about the main character, his family... Read more
Published on November 15, 2009 by Louise Sattler
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating and moving coming-of-age story
The Year My Parents Went On Vacation is one of the best films I've ever seen--period. The acting is terrific and so is the casting; the cinematography and the choreography reflect... Read more
Published on July 29, 2009 by Matthew G. Sherwin
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