Brazilian Documentary Receives Oscar Nomination, But Not All Agrees
Earning a nomination for Oscars 2020, the Brazilian documentary The Edge of Democracy, has once again opened the table for discussion about the polarization of the Latin America country's politics, according to an article by Latino Rebels.
In the documentary exposing the issues surrounding the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff, 36-year-old filmmaker Petra Costa gives her perspective on Brazil's democracy and the risks faced by the country after the abrupt end of the reign of leftist Workers' Party with the impeachment of Brazil's first female president.
When Rousseff was removed from office in 2016, she was replaced by her conservative vice president, Michel Temer. In 2018, far-right Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency defeating the Workers' Party candidate.
Leftist politicians said the documentary's nomination to Oscars 2020 is an affirmation of their interpretation of Rousseff's impeachment as a soft coup, as suggested by the director.
Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who was recently released from jail pending appeal of his corruption conviction, praised Costa on Twitter for "the seriousness in which she narrated this important time of our history." Lula da Silva was Rousseff's mentor.
Meanwhile, conservatives slammed the director and questioned film's accuracy. They also insisted Rousseff deserved to be removed from office for manipulating budget figures.
"Congratulations to filmmaker Petra Costa on her nomination for best fiction and fantasy," the Brazilian Social Democracy Party said on Twitter. Said part was instrumental in Rousseff's impeachment.
In an interview with local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, Roberto Alvim, Bolsonaro's secretary of culture, said Costa's documentary is nothing but fiction and that the Hollywood recognition such proves that the culture wars are being waged across countries.
In her social media channels, Costa said that the documentary was an imperative "in a time where the far right is spreading like an epidemic."
"We are in ecstasy for @TheAcademy's recognition of the urgency of ours #TheEdgeOfDemocracy. In a time in which the far right is spreading like an epidemic, we hope our film can help us understand how crucial it is to protect our democracies. Long live Brazilian cinema!" the director wrote.
The Edge of Democracy competes with other documentaries namely, American Factory, The Cave, For Sama and Honeyland. Winners will be announced at the awarding ceremony in Los Angeles on February 9.
Said documentary is the only Latin American work nominated in Oscars 2020. It seems the Academy has looked over Latino artists this year.
According to an article by BBC, 2020 is not a good year for diversity in the top categories.
In the best director category, the South Korean director Bong Joon Ho was the only non-white nominated for his comedy thriller, Parasite.
Moreover, there were no women nominated in the best director category, not even Greta Gerwig, whose screenplay Little Women was nominated for best picture. Even Golden Globes and Baftas were a snub towards women directors this year.
"What makes it so shocking is that I've seen more inspiring films made by women in 2019 that in any other year that I've been a critic," Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, chief film critic for Metro said in an interview.
In the acting categories, Cynthia Erivo was the only non-white nominee who is up for best actress for playing the title role in Harriet.
According to the Academy, they had taken steps to have a more diverse membership in 2016 after the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag sparked in Oscars 2015 and 2016, criticizing the Academy for having no non-white nominees in the acting categories.
Following the announcement of the 2020 nominees, many users have been tweeting the hashtag again as a sign of protest.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!