Oscar takes Brazilian ‘Vacation’

Film picked as candidate for Academy awards

RIO DE JANEIRO — A committee chosen by the Ministry of Culture has selected Cao Hamburger’s “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation” as Brazil’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar.

The Gullane Filmes’ production has been acclaimed by critics since its release in Brazil in November. The pic, about a child separated from his parents during the military dictatorship years in Brazil, became internationally known when it competed in Berlin. It has been sold to more than 20 countries, an outstanding performance for a Brazilian, Portuguese-language feature.

The decision of the six-member committee, which includes helmers Hector Babenco and Bruno Barreto, surprised those who expected Jose Padilha’s “Elite Squad” to be the choice.

“Elite Squad” was a popular phenomenon that was widely available on pirated DVD before its theatrical launch Sept. 20 at the Rio Intl. Festival.

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