In "Ginga," sporting prowess, nationalistic fervor and alleged genetic disposition are celebrated alongside Brazil's love affair with soccer. Partly funded by shoe company Nike, this enjoyable docu, produced and co-lensed by "City of God" helmer Fernando Meirelles, should find slots from fests to cable.

In “Ginga,” sporting prowess, nationalistic fervor and alleged genetic disposition are celebrated alongside Brazil’s love affair with soccer. Partly funded by shoe company Nike (which failed to become an official sponsor of the 2006 World Cup), this enjoyable docu, produced and co-lensed by “City of God” helmer Fernando Meirelles, should find slots from fests to cable. Pic is structured in segments that make it suitable filler for sports webs. A longer, 80-minute version is also being prepared.

Film introduces seven men from the country’s diverse social strata as the embodiment of “ginga,” an African word describing the stylish physical flexibility that sets apart Brazil’s soccer and futsal (an indoor equivalent) athletes. Both young hopefuls and established superstars like Robinho are spotlighted. Though the invigorating footage will have auds cheering, the film doesn’t ask hard questions. Helming by “City of God” producer Hank Levine and others is advertising-slick. DV-sourced footage, augmented by 16mm, is highly pro, in a street-cred, amateur way.

Ginga: The Soul Of Brazilian Football

Brazil-U.S.

Production

An o2filmes (Brazil)/Wieden Kennedy Entertainment (U.S.) production. (International sales: o2filmes, Sao Paulo.) Produced by Fernando Meirelles. Directed, written by Hank Levine, Marcelo Machado, Tocha Alves.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DV/16mm-to-35mm), Fernando Meirelles, Levine; editors, Lessandro Socrates, Marcio Canella, Paul Bozymowski; music, Edson X, Black Gero. Reviewed at Melbourne Film Festival, July 30, 2005. Portuguese dialogue. Running time: 63 MIN.

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