O Futebol (2015) - Sergio Oksman
A deeply personal documentary, Sergio Oksman's O Futebol documents the filmmaker's experiences as he tries to reconnect with his father, a man which he hasn't seen for over 20 years. In the days leading up to World Cup, Sergia returns to the place he grew up, Sao Paulo, proposing to his father that they watch all the matches together, similar to the time they shared when Sergio was a kid. Rekindling their father-son relationship over the month long schedule of the World Cup calendar requires commitment, and as the two spend the time together, fulfilling their pact to watch all the matches, both Sergio and his father, Simao see their relationship open up and venture into unknown territories. O Futebol is an observant study of familiar bonds, documenting one man as he struggles to reconnect with his father over a game which they both love. Maintaining a high level of objectivity in documenting the attempted rekindling of an old relationship, O Futebol delivers what could only be described as a palpable level of unease early on- exhibiting the awkward silences, the varied small talk, and how conversations about football provide a reprieve when necessary. Early on in their journey to watch the matches together this father and son almost solely interact by talking about football, with the film capturing the importance of shared interests, with football being the inciting incident if you will, for these two characters, particularly Simao to open up a bit about their personal life, past mistakes, and current struggles. The more time the viewer spends with Simao, the more we see his personal struggles, as the film slowly reveals a man in Simao who has chosen a life of solitude, a man who himself laments about his miserable existence, one where he has shown little empathy towards his family, and where his only passion for life seems to be derived directly from football. Aesthetically speaking, O Futebol is subtlety brilliant, a film that maintains its overall subjectivity while capturing the inner emotions of its characters through visual storytelling. Early on in the film, O Futebol is shot in a way that sees both father and son almost never directly facing each other, their visual attention positioned elsewhere. Whether it be in a car, or at the bar watching one of the latest matches, father and son are visually documented with their attention towards something else, wiith the film visually expressing the void in their relationship, the subtle detachment which exists even when they share the same space. Simao in partciular is photographed with wide lens that creates large empty compositions, with O Futebol documenting the state of an old man in solitude, forced to face this life he chose due to his lack of interest in family relationships. Without going into details, O Futebol is an intimate examination of father and son, a poetic and tragic film that through observant detail provides a beautiful, objective documentary filmmaking about one man in Sergio who uses his art to come to terms with his relationship with his father.
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