Posts Tagged ‘travel’


Pelada movie

The word pelada is a Brazilian term for pick up soccer (it’s also Brazilian for “naked” so be careful when doing a Google Images search). Former division one soccer players (and boyfriend/girlfriend) Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham, not quite good enough to make it to the next level but also not ready to completely quit the sport, decide to go on a tour of 25 countries to play pickup soccer.

They start in the cultural center of street soccer – Brazil. They meet an up-and-coming teenage girl who has dreams of one day being a great for the Brazilian national team. They also meet a girl who once had the same dreams, but now works in a factory painting plastic toys and playing street soccer in her free time.

From there, we are taken all over the world. We see them going to Argentina and getting rejected to play in pickup games in the expensive clubs only to head to one of most dangerous neighborhoods (former home of Carlos Tevez) against the advice of police. They travel to Japan where the only place to play is one rooftops. They travel to South Africa where they see the construction workings building the stadium that is to host the 2010 World Cup skipping lunch and playing pickup games instead. We see them bribing their way into a prison in Bolivia to play a pickup game with the talented prisoners. They travel to Austria to watch Euro 2008 where they have a chance to watch the best of the best only to buy fake tickets and be detained by the police. We see them involved in a heated game between the Arabs and the Jews in Jerusalem. Finally, we see them go to Iran where Americans and not well liked and women are not allowed to play soccer.

One thing that really shined through while watching “Pelada”… both Luke and Gwendolyn really love soccer the way that we kids love sports. It’s really fun to see them interacting with different people from all different socioeconomic classes and share that common experience. In my own life, I’ve told many of my friends how lucky I feel in coaching basketball and cross country to be around other coaches and kids who share in my passion. It’s equally as fun to watch people in film who are passionate, as well.

By no means do you have to be a fan of soccer to enjoy this movie. Although the movie is based on sport, the cultural, political, and human stories are what make the film memorable. I found myself making a real emotional connection to a bunch of people I’ve never met travelling to a bunch a countries I’ve never been to.

As someone who’s made a movie that I feel has a really great story that relatively nobody has seen, I almost feel like it’s my duty to demand you check this movie out. You can pick up a dvd at or find it streaming for free if you are a subscriber of Netflix or Amazon. Do yourself a favor and check out “Pelada.”


out of 10


09 2012