Pele, on Netflix, Rediscovers the Footballer, A Window on the Man

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New York (AFP)

Not only is this the first documentary about the Brazilian soccer legend, but with his outstanding reach to the star, and the quality of its speakers, but also for a Netflix audience, “Pelé”, available on the platform as of Tuesday, will undoubtedly be the most noticed.

Director Kevin MacDonald, who won an Academy Award for another documentary, A Day in September, about the 1972 hostage-taking Olympiad, is the executive producer of this feature film, which runs from 1958 to 1970.

Between these two dates, the date of the first planetary coronation at 17, and the final victory in the Mexican World Cup, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, his birth name, became the idol of a country and had distinguished his sport forever.

The abundant archive photos will be an opportunity for a large portion of the audience to discover or rediscover the footballer genius who was Pele, who is able to change the course of the match with the touch of the ball.

But the film crew has also taken advantage of the participation, rarely, of a former number 10 himself in the project to question the man, who gives himself so little, and apparently physically weak.

The immense pressure, frustrations, joys, marital infidelities and children in hiding, gives Pele little to see behind the scenes, until he talks about his relationship with the Brazilian dictatorship.

More than half a century later, some still blame him for his silence, and even his obedience towards the strength of the army, which began operating in 1964, and remained there until 1985.

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“I don’t think I could have done anything different,” said the man still known as King Pele today. “I wasn’t Superman. I didn’t perform miracles.”

The film mentions that the government of General Emilio Garstazo Medici significantly pushed him to participate in the 1970 World Cup when he was unable to do so, due to an injury during both the previous two editions.

The 1970 World Cup in Mexico, which concludes the movie, shows Pele without a certainty, far from the confident character with an uninterrupted smile, as she soars above existence.

His coronation of a weak man makes his team victorious in a supporting role “the most beautiful moment in his life”.

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