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The Year My Parents Went on Vacation
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Extended scenes and outtakes
Optional Spanish subititles
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
This is nothing like the movie "Home Alone", it is much more realistic. Mauro does get some help from an elderly neighbor, although neither the man nor boy are not completely pleased with the arrangement. He also makes friends in the area and gets some help from them also. The movie does not include much excitement, but as a drama is quite good, I enjoyed watching it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 on April 2, 2014 by A. Gomez
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 on January 22, 2014 by Ana F.
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 morePublished on January 1, 2014 by pipnuts
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
This movie has a very well written plot with a touch of drama and humuor.Published on October 8, 2010 by P. Gungor