A stranger in his own land

A neighbor takes a 12-year-old under his wing amid Brazil's political turmoil

Review B-

April 11, 2008|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

The most original parts of The Year My Parents Went on Vacation vividly juxtapose melting-pot conviviality with political turmoil in 1970 Brazil.

Michel Joelsas plays Mauro, a 12-year-old boy whose activist parents go underground when the military dictatorship cracks down on left-wing dissidents. His mother and father leave him at the doorstep of his Jewish paternal grandfather in Bom Retiro, a polyglot neighborhood in Sao Paolo. But Mauro winds up in the care of his grandpa's neighbor, Shlomo (Germano Haiut), who works in the local synagogue and soon learns it takes a district to raise this child.

The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (City Lights) Starring Michel Joelsas, Daniela Piepszyk. Directed by Cao Hamburger. Unrated. Time 105 minutes. In Portuguese and Yiddish, with English subtitles.

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