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For more 2020 AJFF previews, visit atlantajewishtimes.timesofisrael.com/two-decades-in-the-making/

The genre of “road trip movies” is not new to the AJFF. This particular film is a very effective one. Besides being international (multilingual Israelis on the road in Brazil), it is also multi-generational (a grandfather, son and grandson traveling together in an RV), with subplots of the World Cup, family secrets and culinary delights added to the mix. 

Although one of the protagonists has used all of his life’s savings so that he can attend the 2014 World Cup in his homeland, a love of soccer isn’t necessary in order to enjoy this film. Indeed, whether or not the World Cup game is even attended is secondary to the plot. The trio could have just as easily been on their way to a bar mitzvah in Canada or a rock concert in Europe. Instead, this is a film about being in close quarters, for extended periods of time, with loved ones. It is more about navigating others’ feelings than navigating the road. 

The overarching message deals with families’ deep-rooted secrets, how they become entrenched in family lore, and how such secrets ultimately undermine the possibility of real closeness and intimacy with those we love. It’s an Israeli, Brazilian and German film production written in Hebrew, Portuguese and English by Argentinean-born Israeli writer-director Jorge Gurvich. The stars are Israeli, it was mostly shot in and around Rio de Janeiro, and it is thoroughly enjoyable to watch.

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