Just days after Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was removed from office on Aug. 31, a film which looks likely to place the event in a wider context has been brought onto the international market at Venice. Directed by Brazil’s Petra Costa, “Impeachment: Two Weights, Two Measures” does not question the legality of Rousseff’s impeachment, but it does raise questions about its legitimacy, and whether democracy, understood in a broader sense, is now being pushed back in Brazil.
Like films on the Arab Spring and revolution in Ukraine, Costa shot scenes of street protests. Where it will be different, however, will be in capturing the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in Congress and the presidential palace, which precipitated Rousseff’s fall, producer Tiago Pavan said at Venice’s Gap Financing Market where he is presenting the project.
The impeachment is one instance of Brazilian democracy now “taking steps backwards,” Pavan added, citing a recent legislative pushback on workers’ rights and gender-equality concerns over Brazil’s current government having just one woman minister.
“Both Petra Costa and I were born in 1984, the beginning of Brazil’s transition to democracy. We expected Brazilian democracy to be mature and stable 30 years later. That has not proved the case,” Pavan said.
Costa’s “Olmo and the Seagull,” co-directed with Lea Glob and executive produced by Tim Robbins, made a splash at Locarno. Pavan’s Busca Vida Filmes also produced “Olmo and the Seagull.”