Even though it has been more than 20 years since the Costa Rican national soccer team, the Selection, made its historic appearance in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, a new movie by Costa Rican director Miguel Gomez will renew the excitement of that decade.
The filmmaker will share the nostalgia of the National Selection’s heroic games in the colonial canton, showing the film Italia 90 in Nicoya, Nosara and Samara.
The events will be held on Friday, June 13 at the Casa de la Cultura in Nicoya, Saturday, June 14 at Rancho Tico in Nosara, and Sunday, June 15 at Rancho de la Playa in Samara. All of the screenings will begin a 7 p.m.
The activity is organized by the Caricaco Festival and The Voice of Guanacaste newspaper. Tickets will cost ¢1,500 ($3), and all proceeds will be donated to players from the 1990 team. Presales for the Nicoya show will be available at the office of The Voice of Guanacaste starting Monday, June 9.
In addition to watching the film, attendees will have the chance to speak with the director and ask him questions. Gomez will also be accompanied by Héctor Marchena , one of the star players from the team.
The Return to 1990
Those who are not Costa Rican might not remember the 1990 World Cup in Italy. However, for Ticos it was a heroic act – it was the first time that the Costa Rican team qualified for the tournament. The group even made it to the quarterfinals.
Director Miguel Gomez, who was eight years old at the time, was inspired by the human aspect of the players and remembers them as superheroes.
“I was working on the movie Iron Man, and I got the urge to make a movie about superheroes. When I thought about the closest thing to a Tico superhero, I thought of the players of the 1990 Italy team, because that left a deep impression on my childhood,” he recalled.
Gomez, who has made films including El Fin (The End) and El Cielo Rojo (The Red Sky), did research for the movie with many of the players, interviewing them and recovering documentary material.
“They (the players) tell you stories with a smile on their face, and they tell you funny things. The movie passes through a wide range of emotions, and that’s why the movie feels like a comedy, but it’s also about life,” Gomez commented.
The film’s production cost approximately $200,000, involving some 20 people on the production crew and a cast of more than 200 actors, counting extras.
The cast of Italia 90 includes actors Juan Carlos Pardo, Daniel Ross, Fernando Bolaños, Olger Gonzalez, former player Italo Marenco and the singer for the band Gandhi, Luis Montalbert.
“What I think is that if the film is able to create even 1% of the excitement that these players created in 1990, the movie will have fulfilled its goal,” Gomez concluded.