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Documentary 'Nossa Chape' deftly captures Brazilian team's triumph after tragedy

Documentary 'Nossa Chape' deftly captures Brazilian team's triumph after tragedy
A scene from the documentary "Nossa Chape." (Fox Sports)

A Brazilian soccer club’s efforts to recover from the tragic loss of 19 players and 25 of its administrative staff in a plane crash are movingly chronicled in the penetrating documentary “Nossa Chape” (Portuguese for “Our Team”).

The Chapecoense players and staff were en route to a tournament in Colombia on Nov. 28, 2016, when their the charter flight ran out of fuel and crashed into a mountain ridge.

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Just three of its players — Alan Ruschel, Neto and Follmann — would make it out alive, and as they convalesced from serious injuries, the club’s management determined that it would best serve the tight-knit community by moving forward and rebuilding the team in time for the 2017 season, a mere two months away.

The resulting growing pains are affectingly delineated by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, sports documentarians who are back in the zone after their less-assured 2016 scripted feature debut, “Pelé: Birth of a Legend.”

Along with co-director Julián Duque, they have crafted something more intriguing than the standard inspirational overcoming-obstacles story.

Through revealing interviews with the three survivors, scarred psychologically as well as physically, along with equally articulate commentary from widows and the town’s compassionate mayor, the film probes that tricky-to-reconcile bridge between honoring the fallen and moving forward.

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‘Nossa Chape’

In Portuguese with English subtitles

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica

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