Italia 90: Three Nights of Soccer, Popcorn and the Taste of Victory

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Schedules on the weekend in the Nicoya canton may normally include a trip to the beach, a stroll through the woods or dining at a restaurant. Going to the movies can be impossible.

Despite the fact that the canton does not have a movie theatre, residents in the districts of Nicoya, Nosara and Samara had the chance to see the movie Italia 90 this past weekend, June 13 to 15. The movie was directed by the Costa Rican cinematographer Miguel Gomez; screenings were presented by The Voice of Guanacaste in collaboration with Festival Caricaco.

The first to enjoy the film were Nicoyans, as the House of Culture was converted into a true movie theatre.

Minutes before 7 p.m., the first attendees began to trickle in, having taken movie night seriously, arriving in their best dress and perfumes.

While some took the opportunity to pick the best seats, others enjoyed food that was on sale for the benefit of the Nicoya Music School. Popcorn, hot dogs and sodas were on the menu.

At 7:30 the building’s lights were turned off and Miguel Gomez, the movie’s director, appeared on stage. He thanked Guanacastecans for having taken the time to watch his film.

As if it were a real theatre, some couples took advantage of the last seats, making it a romantic date night accompanied by the heroic national team that played in the 1990 World Cup.

For the Nicoyan Yamel Campos, the Costa Rican film is charged with emotion and shows the human side of the players that is not normally seen.

“It seemed to me that the characters are well constructed. Obviously one remembers little… You’re used to seeing characters like El Chunche, which is a personality and a model, but it is great to see him played by another person,” he said.

For her part, Cristina Campos said that she enjoyed the exciting parts of the film, but that there were technical aspects that were not carried out well.

“I liked it well enough, though I didn’t enjoy the production; he [Miguel Gomez] has a very pretty style. Really I don’t know if it was an issue of editing or using very old tape, so it bothered me a bit. I have seen better production in other films that he has made,” said the Guanacastecan.

The first showing brought together some 80 Guanacastecans, who took advantage of the director’s presence to take “selfies” and speak with him.

Cinema On the Coast

The tour arrived in Nosara on Saturday, June 14, a historic day for Costa Rica, as after some 54 years the national soccer team was able to defeat a former world champion.

The 3-1 victory against Uruguay earlier that day allowed Nosarans to enjoy the film with a sense of glory and hope in their hearts.

The bar and restaurant Rancho Tico hosted more than 30 people, who came together to enjoy the movie dressed in national team shirts.

After the film had started, a power outage of nearly 20 minutes left attendees in suspense; the event’s organizers even announced that the screening may have to be postponed. The return of electrical service was nearly as exciting as the first goal that Joel Campbell had scored in Costa Rica’s World Cup match, as spectators erupted with applause and shouts, just as fans in the stands had.

At the end of the presentation, Gomez thanked Nosarans for their attendance and said that he had received a message from Brazil that the national team’s players had the chance to see the movie before the game against Uruguay.

On Sunday, June 15, the night of soccer was for residents of Samara, where some 30 people came to the restaurant Rancho de la Playa to watch Italia 90.

Some took the chance to finish their Father’s Day celebrations. That was the case for Darwin Perez, who was accompanied by his wife and children.

“For me it is great to be able to share [this] with my family on Father’s Day, seeing the movie Italia 90, which for me was the best World Cup we’ve had,” said Perez.

The family also had a special reason for celebrating, as Jose Miguel Perez, one of the children, was also enjoying his birthday party. Perez was born the same year as the Italy World Cup and on Sunday he turned 24.

“I had heard of the results – that they had reached the round of 16 – but now with the movie I saw everything that the players lived and the whole process,” said the birthday boy.

The screening in Samara was the only for which the Costa Rican cinematographer was not present. However, that did not stop the laughter and gasps from flowing with the rhythm of the scenes.