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The Chimera of Heroes

Edouardo Julio Rossi, a military enthusiast and extreme rightist, changed abruptly after visiting a Holocaust museum in France, returned home to Argentina and decided to teach local Toba tribesmen rugby, creating the first Aboriginal Rugby Club. A larger-than-life character, Rossi leaps off the screen in "The Chimera of Heroes."

Edouardo Julio Rossi, a military enthusiast and extreme rightist, changed abruptly after visiting a Holocaust museum in France, returned home to Argentina and decided to teach local Toba tribesmen rugby, creating the first Aboriginal Rugby Club. A larger-than-life character, Rossi leaps off the screen in “The Chimera of Heroes.” After winning a special prize in Venice’s Upstream section, wry, slightly repetitive pic should land on the playing fields of festivals and open-minded webs.

Young documaker Daniel Rosenfeld (“Saluzzi: Composition for Bandoneon and Three Brothers”) paints the charismatic Rossi as a real hero, albeit one rife with contradictions. Though his heart is in the right place, he’s still a strong-armed coach who does all the talking; the Tobas’ voices are practically unheard in the film. And while he insists on a match between the army rugby team and his boys, he simultaneously gets the army to donate a Sherman tank to his WWII collection. In the end, one has to admire his zeal in

The Chimera of Heroes

Argentina

Production: A Daniel Rosenfeld Films production in association with Les Films d'Ici Films. (International sales: Trust Film Sales, Copenhagen.) Produced, directed, written by Daniel Rosenfeld.

Crew: Camera (color), Ramiro Civita; editors, Ewa Lenkiewicz, Lorenzo Bombicci, Rosenfeld. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Upstream), Aug. 31, 2003. Original title: La quimera de los heroes. Running time: 70 MIN.

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