A 12-year-old boy’s recognition of the events and eventual acceptance of their implications which happened during a supposedly trip by his parents summed up the 2007 Latin-American movie entitled “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation. ” With the 1970 World Cup and political situations in Brazil as backdrops, the Cao Hamburger movie reshuffled the social or cultural concepts of confusion and ordeal as viewed by a minor character named Mauro Stern played by young actor Michael Joelsas (“The Year My Parents Went on Vacation” Motion Picture, 2007).
Under a scheme that they are going on a vacation, Mauro’s parents Daniel and Miriam left their son supposedly to be taken cared of by the boy’s grandfather in an Italian and Jewish neighborhood called Bom Retiro. However, it is in the couple’s desire to shield Mauro from the military-controlled ruling in their country that the boy’s destiny, in turn, was mixed-up. This was after Mauro was told by next-door neighbor named Shlomo that the former’s grandfather allegedly died from heart attack
Confused where his parents “went on vacation,” Mauro ended up in the company of Shlomo, met new friends, experienced the Brazilian life and was eventually exposed and accustomed to the details of how it is like to live in a neighborhood where his parents somehow abandoned him.
In a span of whole year and while his parents are “vacationing,” Mauro was left alone but fortunately survived the turmoil which beset Brazil in 1970 as he was able to acknowledge reality and how it affected his life.
Mauro’s sensitive and sweet character redeemed the apparent non-originality of the movie.
The performance provided by young Joelsas has proven to be an effective method in clearly conveying the isolation and uncertainty experienced by a young boy when he was left out in the middle of a strange place by his “vacationing” parents. Ultimately, the film is best manifested with Mauro’s successful realization of himself while his parent went on vacation.
Gullane, C. & Gullane, F. (Producers), & Hamburger, C. (Director). (2007). The Year My Parents Went on Vacation. Available from Gullane Filmes, Brazil.