The road from slums to soccer glory intersects with crime in Marcel Rasquin's engaging debut.

The road from slums to soccer glory intersects with crime drama in Marcel Rasquin’s engaging first feature “Brother.” Saga of two talented sibs hoping to go pro while coping with a parent’s violent death escapes cliche by dint of unpretentious presentation and winning perfs. While perhaps too modest a package to make a major splash, pic should score fest travel and some offshore sales in various formats.

A baby abandoned on a garbage heap is discovered by Graciela (Marcela Giron) and her young son. Seventeen years later, the adopted tot is Daniel (Fernando Moreno), a slight but nimble striker who functions as an inseparable unit on- and off-field with his team-captain brother, handsome and confident Julio (Eliu Armas). But just as they’ve attracted tryout offers from a top team, Graciela is killed in street crossfire. Daniel witnessed the slaying but can’t tell a revenge-focused Julio, because the crime involves a fellow teammate and the local crime syndicate. While not wildly original in style or content, this satisfying effort signals a bright future for writer-director Rasquin as well as lead thesps Armas and Moreno, who have a disarmingly convincing fraternal vibe.

Brother

Venezuela

Production

An A&B Prods. presentation of a Tres Pales Pictures production. (International sales: A&B, Caracas.) Produced by Marcel Rasquin, Enrique Aular. Executive producers, Enrique Aular, Liz Mago Bosch. Directed by Marcel Rasquin. Screenplay, Rasquin, Rohan Jones.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Enrique Aular; editors, Carolina Aular, Juan Carlos Melian; music, Rigel Michelena; art director, Maya Oleo; costume designer, Intensity Gomes Vero. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (noncompeting), Sept. 3, 2010. (Also in New York Latino Film Festival.) Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Eliu Armas, Fernando Moreno, Gonzalo Cubero, Marcela Giron, Ali Rondon, Beto Benites.
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