Narcos star Wagner Moura slams Brazilian prez at IFFI

“I don’t know how aware you are of the political situation in Brazil right now, but it’s really bad. Since the dictatorship (started), we live in the worst moment of our history. We elected a far-right, fascist president that praises dictatorship and praises torturers. He thinks torturing is a good way to investigate. He is a despicable human being,” Moura told a packed audience. DH Photo/Pushkar V

Brazilian actor Wagner Moura on Tuesday lashed out against the president of his country, Jair Bolsonaro, during a talk at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), calling the right-wing leader “a despicable human being”.

Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited Bolsonaro to be the chief guest at the 2020 Republic Day, an offer the Brazilian leader accepted earlier this month.

No talk at the IFFI 2019 so far has been as polemical as Moura’s, who has become a globally recognised face for his role as Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series ‘Narcos’.

The actor is at the festival with his debut film ‘Marighella’, a biopic of a guerilla leader who had fought the Brazilian military dictatorship until his death at the hands of the state in 1969.

In an earlier conversation with DH, IFFI director Chaitanya Prasad had spoken about Moura as one of the festival’s most esteemed guests.

“I don’t know how aware you are of the political situation in Brazil right now, but it’s really bad. Since the dictatorship (started), we live in the worst moment of our history. We elected a far-right, fascist president that praises dictatorship and praises torturers. He thinks torturing is a good way to investigate. He is a despicable human being,” Moura told a packed audience.

Bolsonaro, who has been the president since January, has been in the news for many wrong reasons.

He had declared a convicted torturer a “national hero”; he got into a heated to-and-fro with French president Emmanuel Macron after personally approving of a Facebook post implying that his wife is better looking than Macron’s, and his critics have slammed him for starting a new era of environmental destruction.

Bolsonaro has openly denounced Moura’s film, which is currently making the rounds in festival circuits.

“He himself had recorded a video trash-talking myself and my film, and my film is censored. We had our premiere cancelled in Brazil,” Moura said, referring to the president.

The star said that the purpose of the film was to give back the name of Marighella, who has been “erased from our history”, to the Brazilian people.

“But then, considering what’s going on in Brazil, the film became not only about the ones who resisted in the 60s, it became a film about the ones who are resisting right now. And that’s why the film is censored,” Moura said.

“When you have a president that says global warming does not exist, it empowers you to burn it out. Or when you have a president that says torture is good, it empowers you to torture. When you have a president that does not respect women, it empowers you to be sexist. When you have a president that is homophobic, it empowers you to act like that,” he said.

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