Friday, September 24, 2010


The 4th Brazilian Film Festival of Toronto kicked off last night with the biopic of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. The movie was directed by Fábio Barreto (who was in a coma earlier this year due to a car accident and had his skull's left side stored in his ribs) and is based on a book that follows Lula's trajectory from 1945 to 1980. It is one of the most expensive Brazilian movies ever made.

Even though newcomer Rui Ricardo Dias is excellent as Lula through the ages (minus the lisp), the movie really belongs to Gloria Pires, who does a great job as Lula’s beloved mother, Dona Lindu.

Little Lula (Felipe Falanga) and mother.

Despite it’s abrupt ending, the movie is captivating. At its heart, it's a story about the universally beloved underdog, a man from the people who, against enormous odds, becomes president of a nation. The movie doesn’t smack as much of propaganda as it does of historic officialism. It’s a little too didactic and does portray Lula as a flawless and charismatic hero.

Ironically, Lula, The Son Of Brazil was also chosen yesterday to be Brazil’s representative for the Oscars in 2011 and the choice has been criticized as being blatantly political. The selection is made, after all, by the Ministry of Culture...

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