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GOAL GOAL BRAZIL! “Back to Maracanã”

My knowledge of the Portuguese language is not great. I can say upon driving home from work I occasionally tune into the local Portuguese radio station and listen to soccer games from Portugal. There is an absolute frenzy in the voices of the announcers but exciting and melodic.

This film starts with the radio blaring “Goal, Goal Brazil” being listened to in Israel by Grandpa Samuel and his son Roberto. Both are soccer nuts and perhaps that is because Grandpa spent part of his growing-up years in Rio. This is a Jewish family with a Brazilian heritage.

So how did this Grandpa end up in Israel. Well his father bet a huge amount of money in the 1950 World Cup final between Uruguay and Brazil and in favour of Brazil. Brazil lost in what has become known in shameful terms in Brazil as the “Macarano”. Still remembered in Brazil despite the fact Brazil has won six soccer wold Cups since then. Well Grandpa’s dad died or rather committed suicide after the loss facing total financial ruin. The family emigrated to Israel.

Roberto is divorced with a young son Itai. His wife works in a swank hotel and her boyfriend is a German and he’s taking Roberto’s wife to some 2014 World Cup soccer matches in Brazil confidently assuming Germany would win the World Cup.

Well Grandpa decides to take his life savings and take Itai and Roberto to Brazil to see some World Cup soccer particularly the final game which he is sure Brazil is playing in. So off to Brazil they fly and not being able to find a hotel room they rent a camper van and off they travel to several non-Rio cities in Brazil to see some World Cup soccer.

Grandpa has a bad heart and is travelling against his physician’s orders. They have several adventures and arguments but the three generations bond over this travel experience and obsession with soccer. I love it when Grandpa asks Itai why he is always looking at his phone suggesting why not a dog as you walk and pat him and see his tail wag.

The lads run into Mom and Thomas in Rio and it looks as if Mom and Thomas are taking Itai to live with them in Germany and Itai wants to remain with Roberto.

It’s a great opportunity to see World Cup madness in Brazil.

Well the lads all make it to a game at the Maracaná which is the name of soccer stadium in Rio. Poor Grandpa suffers a serious heart issue and at that point Germany leads Brazil 3-0.

The movie ends with Roberto opening up a Brazilian churrascaria in Israel and Itai, dog on a leash, walking into the restaurant which is under construction.

A feel-good movie about family, soccer, national pride and tragedy. Unlike the movie “Leona” I reviewed lately here the Jewish community reaches outside of itself for matters of the heart.

By the way Brazil never made it to the finals.

The film is a German/Israel production made in 2018 and is 92 minutes in length. It is directed by Jorge Gurvich and shows on May 9th at Cineplex Empress Walk at 8:30 p.m. It is part of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

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