Already igniting a blaze of anger and frustration among film festival goers, Petra Costa’s partly autobiographical The Edge of Democracy, is a bleak nail biter that will keep audiences invested in the idiocy of modern Brazilian politics. Utilizing a fresh feminine perspective as the backbone to reinforce a timely message regarding political corruption; Petra’s personal affiliation and narration of her parents, whom of which were political revolutionaries in the 20th century, adds a certain detail of poignancy within the cyclone of madness, sexism, and ignorance. However, it should be said that although her personal affiliation and historic past are important, and shouldn’t be ignored, they never really come in too full focus, when the film eventually starts wrapping up it’s subjects during the second half; causing almost a gap of two different perspectives from the same voice.
Incredibly presented, clear, and concise in terms of it’s complex scholarly explanation of Brazilian politics, The Edge of Democracy made me pissed off in the best way possible. Alongside it’s wicked drone shots of public demonstrations, The Edge of Democracy never loses its intended purpose throughout its lengthy near-two hour run-time. I still clearly remember, at the screening I went too, when the credits started to role, when nearly half the audience exclaimed FREE LULA! I hope that similar reactions will occur, when the film eventually hits Netflix in a few weeks, and can provoke viewers for advocacy of social change. Plus, any film that uses The Grand Budapest Hotel OST effectively, is already a pretty great film in my books!
The Edge of Democracy screened at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, as part of the Special Presentations program. Netflix will release the film on June 19th