On the April 30th, the movie Pelé Eterno (Eternal Pele) was released on Brazilian theaters. For Pele´s fans, it´s a must see movie.
The movie is 125 minutes long, fully dedicated to portray the life of Pele. The initial ten or so minutes describe Pele´s infancy and childhood (Pele´s mother appear several times; Pele´s father, Dondinho, is already dead, but he is mentioned a few times, always with reverence); the final ten or so minutes show how Pele is living today, with his wife and kids. The rest of time, the audience are presented with a selection of more than 300 goals, from the beginning of the career through his last matches.
If there ever was any doubt (in Brazil, where we who could see other fantastic players like Zizinho, Garrincha, Didi, Rivelino, Falcao, Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, just to name a few, it is almost unanimity that Pele was the best), the movie shows why Pele is the best football player of all time.
Goals, goals, goals. Black and white or color, World Cups or obscure matches, penalty kicks or fantastic rushes, Pele´s goals and Pele´s assistances, friendly and hostile crowds, goals shown thousands of times and goals rarely shown before.
Among the rare scenes: the first time Pele with the Brazilian jacket; several goals from the 1950s and 1960s; Pele in the uniform of Vasco da Gama and Flamengo (in friendly matches); the matches right before the 1000th goal (with a scene of a defense man being sworn for having avoided a goal); Pele and his team, Santos, in tours around the world (with images of the occasion when a war was stopped for Pele to play). Before television was popular in Brazil (and even further, until the early 1980s), it was usual to shoot scenes to be exhibited in theaters, before the movies; these scenes were taken from the floor level, right outside the field, with good quality cameras.
These images had been forgotten for a long time, until the producers of Pele Eternal researched them; the director, Anibal Massaini, was a producer of low budget movies in the 1970s. Massaini, a declared Pele´s fan, used his old contacts to research these rare images, and the result is certainly impressive; many goals had never been shown on TV.
In between the goals, we see other ex-players and football professionals talking about Pele. Also, many players talk about Pele (another rarity: footage from another movie where Pele attempts to be an actor, from the early 1960s, showing a young Pele and his Santos´ coleagues). The story line was written by Armando Nogueira, one of the most respected Brazillian journalists.
A few movie critics saw techinal problems with Pele Eternal. But if what you want to see is a collection of the finest goals of the greatest football player of all time, this is a movie not to be missed.
Poster of Eternal Peleplus some photos and comments by surfers (in Portuguese)
Interview with the DirectorAnibal Massaini (in Portuguese)
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