Wonderful documentary ‘Garrincha: The Joy of the People’

2022/12/02

There is a popular belief in the mindset of every youngster that shows a closeness to soccer players. Yes, because most kids dream of being a new Neymar, Pelé, Garrincha, etc. It is then, that there is the junction of the distant dream of these boys, with the democratizing and political nature of soccer, the sport gives these boys the possibility to dream of being big stars.

And this was the story of the reality of many soccer professionals, who managed to make of this sport a springboard for a rise in social class, because many of these boys were from the poor class. They came out of anonymity and poverty to become stars of a nation. This is the main idea behind the documentary Garrincha: A Alegria do Povo, which goes deep into the documentary observation of a soccer star, and is not only about Garrincha, but about his relationship with people.

Garrincha: The Joy of the People

Director Joaquim Pedro de Andrade exposes several layers of the figure of the star Garrincha. There’s a look at Garrincha’s performance as an artist, using the ball at his feet, managing to explore archival footage of the player on the field performing dribbles and many goals, with an editing and also with a soundtrack that makes the documentary incredible. There is also focus on the discussion between the idealized mythical figure of the player and the normal human being inserted among the people. So, by placing these sequences of images of him walking on the street, and doing everyday tasks, as well as those that investigate his relationship with his city of origin, are sure to demystify the star, as a citizen inserted into society.

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Garrincha: The Joy of the People

Radiography of the Brazilian People

The documentary takes an “x-ray” of the Brazilian people of that time. The soccer player Garrincha is a symbol of the people, focused on daring and joy. Focusing on his past in a small town, working in a factory, the documentary shows that it is possible for a young man to fulfill his dream and rise socially through soccer. It also denounces economic inequality, targeting it when it approaches the issue of the difference in salary between Garrincha and his colleagues and childhood friends, factory workers.

The sequences of soccer scenes being played on the beaches, reflect well this Brazilian roots turned to soccer, showing that in every amateur court there can be a Garrincha waiting anxiously to be discovered. The role of superstition in the cultural imaginary is also addressed, with newspaper reports showing the performance of some daily rituals by people who believe they will bring luck to Brazil in the World Cup. Almost at the end, it is pointed to using soccer as a political medium, with the director bringing in archival footage that seems to be loaded with a sense of unease as he shows the players’ meetings with the suits after Brazil’s World Cup performance.

Many Throws

There is an extensive sequence that shows Garrincha’s moves in the World Cup and the general trajectory by means of Andrade’s expository narration, which turns the half of the documentary into a plastered half, in a direct approach, only journalistic, nothing artistic, but there are always two views of the same thing, aren’t there? One can see that this helps to sediment, through images, the real value of Garrincha’s soccer, and its true importance within Brazilian history.

Finally, what more effective way could prove in a practical way what a great player he was through his plays? In the same vein, it is also the World Cup that serves as a thread to explore the relationship of soccer with the Brazilian people, and show how soccer can serve to influence either the general feeling of optimism or discouragement of a nation. Thus, towards the end of this documentary, the intervention of the director and the editing become more active again, as they focus once more on the relationship between the spectator and the sport.

The verbal speculations of director Joaquim de Andrade are complemented by a montage of several faces of spectators in the stands, with expressions that show both the euphoria and apathy of a defeat, and reveal what impact this has on life in society, all through sociological research.

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World Cup match results:

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  • Senegal 0:2 Netherlands
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  • World Cup Schedule

Tues:

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  • 13:00 – Mexico vs. Poland
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