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19 Apr
Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm PT
21 Apr
Sun, Apr 21 at 12:30 pm
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive


“Our democracy was founded on forgetting,” states filmmaker Petra Costa, an ever-present narrator guiding us through Brazil’s political history, one that has been rife with an incredible amount of controversy. Examining her native country’s democracy from when it began in 1985, focusing on Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva and Dilma Rousseff’s careers, Costa interweaves the personal and political to show just how fragile a people’s government can be when information is kept from the public and those in power refuse to operate in the best interests of the masses.

“A mournful but clear-eyed look at one of the many governments on the planet currently either going to or simmering in Hell, Petra Costa’s The Edge of Democracy is as much essay film as a primer on Brazil’s recent history. Viewing the rise and fall of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Workers’ Party through the lens of her own family’s complicated political life, Costa mixes journalism and memoir in ways one might expect after her dreamy 2012 film Elena.” –  John DeFore, Variety

Director Petra Costa

Petra Costa debuted with a video documentary Don Quixote of Bethlehem (2005), followed by a documentary short Undertow Eyes (2009). Those were followed by three documentary features, Elena (2012), winner of the Grand Coral documentary prize at the Havana Film Festival; Olmo & the Seagull (2015), recipient of two awards at CPH:DOX; and The Edge of Democracy.

Film Details

Year 2019

Language English, Portuguese

Runtime 123

Country Brazil

Director Petra Costa

Producer Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, Tiago Pavan

Editor Karen Harley, Tina Baz, David Barker, Joaquim Castro, Jordana Berg, Felipe Lacerda

Cinematographer João Atala

Music Rodrigo Leao, Vitor Araujo, Lucas Santtana, Gil Talmi