I recently attended a press screening of “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” a film from Brazil told in Portuguese and Yiddish, and reviewed it for Beliefnet.
The story is told through the eyes of Mauro, a young, abandoned boy who has been plunged into a foreign environment–still within the borders of his own land, but not within the borders of his own experience. He learns quickly that there are foreign worlds–like the Jewish community in which everyone speaks Yiddish, and the world of puberty and adolescence that hits him with a crush on a local waitress and his interactions with the young girl down the hall. As Mauro finds himself in a Jewish community for the first time in his life, he encounters objects and people as strange to him as if he were a foreigner in a strange land, which in some ways, he is.
The film also makes a statement about sports that’s undeniable: that a national pasttime can unite members of different communities in a national endeavor: it’s post-denominational nationalism at its purest, reaching beyond age, politics or religion to bring people together in common tension and triumph.