The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (2006) - O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias

Review: ‘The Year My Parents Went on Vacation’ (2006)



In the touching drama, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, 1970 is the year of the triumph of Pelé and one of Brazil’s greatest teams. But “on vacation” is an activist euphemism for going on the lam to avoid arrest and torture by Brazil’s ruling military dictatorship.

To protect their 11 year old son, a couple leaves him on his grandfather’s doorstep, in the largely Jewish Bom Retiro neighborhood of São Paulo. They tell the boy they will be back to watch the 1970 World Cup with him, not knowing the grandfather has dropped dead. Mauro is instead cared for by a crusty neighbor and follows the WC games while he awaits the parents who may never return.

Director Cao Hamburger had produced many children’s shows and portrays this story from the boy’s perspective. But that is what disappoints me about O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias. Every vignette is shadowed in nuances, and the boy’s emotions are largely repressed. It is not until the end of the film that he understands “on vacation” is not a good thing.

Unfortunately, the viewer is also shielded from knowledge and limited to the scope of a child. So neither do we really understand the characters nor what is really happening in Brazil. While it may be very artsy to do this, it is not terribly satisfying to watch. However, I must be in the minority, because this movie did a fairly robust $3M in box office.

The futebol is only on a little TV

There is a scene of local 8v8 soccer play in the movie, but most of the soccer experience is watching groups of fans screaming at little TVs, yelling “GOALLL!”.

The DVD has two making of extras.

7 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 7


  • Release Date: 2006-09-26 (Brazil)
  • The Brazilian title is O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias
  • In Portuguese and Yiddish with English subtitles
  • IMDB
  • WIKI
  • Director: Cao Hamburger
  • Watch the Trailer in low res