World Cup 2014: All eyes are on Brazil – and on the legendary Maracanã, one of the largest stadiums in the world. Built for the World Cup 1950, it was designed to be the stage upon which Brazil – confident of victory – was to present itself to the world. But then the mighty fell like at no other time in the history of football, losing 2-1 to outsiders Uruguay in the final before the Maracanã crowd, plunging the country into a deep depression.

64 years later comes a unique opportunity to redress the balance, the Maracanã is once again the scene for a spectacular final. The Brazilians are feverishly awaiting the World Cup – and are fearful that the disaster will strike again. This is because the Maracanã is far more than a stadium – it is a sacred place, a celebration of everything that makes Brazil what it is: sport, music, religion, unbridled euphoria and unmitigated sorrow. It was here that Pelé shot his thousandth goal, that Frank Sinatra, Ivete Sangalo and Madonna held their mega-concerts, and that Pope John Paul II gave the largest mass ever held on Latin American soil. Here in Brazil, it’s OK to dream.

This is why the Maracanã itself is the protagonist of our film, telling us its story. A story of a painful defeat. Stories of triumph and hope. Of the derbies between rivals Flamengo and Fluminense. We get to know the stadium’s neighbours, the groundskeeper, the ardent Flamengo fan who set up a museum in his own home, the Indian chief from the Puri tribe fighting to retain his indigenous cultural centre … And the Maracanã presents its greatest heroes to us, footballing legends such as World Cup goal scorer Alcides Ghiggia, record holder Zagallo and Pelé or Brazil’s most popular singer Ivete Sangalo. And on the other hand: a whole favela where 700 families have lived for years is to disappear to make way for FIFA-prescribed parking. How do they feel about the World Cup?

Stars, heroes, gods of the past and present and ordinary people from the neighbourhood ... All with stories involving Brazil’s most famous temple of emotions.

There is a wealth of stories to tell about the Maracanã and its neighbourhood: joyful and fearful, colourful and bleak, and always a little crazy – just like the country itself.


Directed by: Gerhard Schick
Director of Photography: Romenique França, Gerhard Schick, Nicolas Soto Diaz, Reynaldo Zangrandi
Sound: Daniel Mendes, Rodrigo Ortiz
Editor: Rudi Heinen
Music: Patrick M. Schmitz, Gregor Keienburg
Colour Grading: Felix Hüsken, Farbkult
Re-recording Mixer: Alexander Weuffen
Production Managers: Monika Mack, Rolf Bremenkamp
Producer: Birgit Schulz
Commissioning Editor: Monika Schäfer
Head of department: Ulrike Dotzer

Subsidized by 

A Bildersturm film production in coproduction with NDR & WDR in cooperation with arte

© Bildersturm Filmproduktion 2014 

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