Our celebration of the Brazilian World Cup Finals kicks off with this Gala Canadian premiere of the new documentary by Renato Terra (A Night in 67), a rousing chronicle of the passion and fanaticism driving Brazil’s national sport, soccer. Featuring interviews with legends like Zico and Romário, rabid fans and archival footage, the film focuses on the rivalry between two of the largest football clubs in Brazil: Flamengo (’Fla’) and Fluminense (’Flu’). The evening includes live music performance by the Celia Enestrom band and caipirinhas.
"Transports us into the football stadium and the emotions that come with it, causing goose bumps to any supporter’ Paulo Vinicius Coelho, Folha de São Paulo
Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries; On the Road; Central Station) collaborates with Daniela Thomas on this neo-realist drama about a mother and her four sons struggling to find their way in the favela of Sao Paulo. The son with the brightest prospects is a potential soccer star, but at 18, he’s all too aware that time is running out. As for his siblings, they have more than enough troubles of their own…
"A beguiling blend of urban poetry and extremely well-observed social realism."—Wally Hammond, Time Out
"The film’s title refers to the line of players down which the ball is passed when all are playing properly together. It could hardly be more appropriate for a film that confirms that the unflashy virtues of teamwork are as vital in cinema as they are in life."—Paul Julian Smith, Sight & Sound
He was the soccer player Pele idolized in the 1940s, Brazil’s best striker, a dashing, cavalier talent with movie star looks and a burning desire to win. But Heleno was also an erratic talent, plagued with psychological problems, and despised by some of his teammates. His career was brilliant, but cut brutally short as he mental problems mounted.
"Fonseca’s handsome black-and-white, impressionistic bio-drama goes very Raging Bull-ish… (Santoro) is mighty matinee-idol charismatic himself in the title role, alternating between swaggering lady-killer and ravaged victim of self-destruction. B+" Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Powerfully acted and dazzlingly shot in heavenly black and white, Heleno is a feverish opera…. The road to ruin is blindingly beautiful." Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times
This dreamy, lyrical work is both a love letter and a suicide note, a tone poem created by Brazilian fillmmaker Petra Costa in mourning for her older sister Elena, an actress and dancer who moved to New York in search of a stardom that eluded her — despite the radiant fragments collated here.
"With its free-floating imagery, Elena unfolds like a cinematic dream whose central image is water, which symbolizes the washing away of grief."—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
“Filmmaking at its finest. Stunningly beautiful, achingly emotional … A mesmerizing, artful and emotional piece of filmmaking that consistently surprises and awes.”—The Playlist/IndieWire