In a typical São Paulo bar where pictures of football players cover the walls, a group of men has something in common: they are all Boleiros (Pros), and former professionals of football. They usually meet there to recall events and make comments on games, players, teams and referees. This is the starting point ofPros, Ugo Georgetti's fifth long feature.
Former players Naldinho (Flávio Migliaccio) and Otávio (Adriano Stuart) usually meet every afternoon with other former football players: Ari (João Acaiabe), Tito (Oswaldo Campozana), Juiz (Rogério Cardoso) and Mamamá (César Negro). Sitting around the table they make a comment here and there which reminds them of some curious and unforgettable incident they have heard of. That is how, for example, they talk about the vicissitudes of a corrupt referee (Otávio Augusto), trying to fix games for a particular team; about player Paulinho Majestade (Aldo Bueno), who is forced to put his trophies and medals up for sale because he is broke; about the talented young player (João Motta) who gets involved with criminals;about Azul (Cléber Colombo), scorer of the most beatiful goal of recent times, and who becomes a one night hero; about the injured player (André Bicudo), who resorts to a Voodoo priest to be healed; and about the lady-killer (Paulo Coronato), who tries to sneak past the security to seduce a sexy guest (Marisa Orth) at the hotel where his team is staying. Irreverently nostalgic, Giorgetti crowds his film with ordinary characters, with episodes we have once heard about someone. He does this so skilfully that we end up being persuaded that everyone really has a story worth knowing about, they just need to learn how to tell it.
Pros took about 60 days to shoot and it mobilised a quite large crew since there were 104 actors and a significant number of extras. This huge contingent did not make much of a difference to the director because the film is practically entirely narrated in episodes. What was actually relevant to the director's work was the diversity of actors involved in the takes. There were 28 locations in several spots in São Paulo, which adds a special nuance to the movie, since it is possible to perform a brief reading of the city through the chosen neighbourhoods. However, the challenge of shooting so many external takes in a metropolis was not easy. The crew had to face the difficulties of traffic and excess noise. Because it is a movie about the football world, Pros had the support of former Corinthians club player, Luiz Carlos, who provided the director with tips that only a professional in the field would know. Another talented former Corinthians player also gave his contribution. Zé Maria, the world champion of 1970, appears in the film as a coach.
Interview with Ugo Giorgetti
Review of Boleiros in Jornal de Brasília
Review of Boleiros in Film Chronicles São Paulo