Tag Archives: Gwendolyn Oxenham

Unsolicited Endorsements: VII

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

This soccer-centric documentary debuted at the SXSW Film Festival in 2010, and it immediately struck a chord. Pelada, which literally translates to “naked” in Portuguese, is the Brazilian word for pickup soccer (or more correctly, futbol).

It’s the work of four young film-makers and stars Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham, two former college soccer standouts who travel the world in a constant search for the most basic form of the game — and what it means to each place. This week, more than a year after it surfaced on my radar, I was finally able to cross it off my list. (It’s streaming on Netflix.)

On the surface, this is essentially a love letter to the beautiful game, but the film resonated with me on two deeper levels: It opens a window into life in the unseen (the slums of Buenos Aires; a prison yard in La Paz, Bolivia; the tension-filled streets of Jerusalem), capturing the struggles and monotony of day-to-day life through the lens of futbol.

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