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The Edge of Democracy (2019)

2:13 | Trailer
Political documentary and personal memoir collide in this exploration into the complex truth behind the unraveling of two Brazilian presidencies.


Petra Costa


Petra Costa (screenplay), Daniela Capelato (script collaboration) | 5 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dilma Rousseff ... Herself - Ex-Presidente
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ... Himself - Ex-Presidente (as Lula da Silva)
Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva ... Herself - Primeira Dama (as Marisa Letícia)
Sergio Moro ... Himself - Juiz Federal (as Sérgio Moro)
Nestor Cerveró Nestor Cerveró ... Himself - Ex-Executivo da Petrobras (archive footage)
Paulo Roberto Costa Paulo Roberto Costa ... Himself - Ex-Diretor da Petrobras (archive footage)
Marcelo Odebrecht Marcelo Odebrecht ... Himself - Ex-Presidente do Grupo Odebrecht (archive footage)
Lindbergh Farias Lindbergh Farias ... Himself - Senador (PT) (archive footage)
Jovair Arantes Jovair Arantes ... Himself - Relator da Comissão do Impeachment (PTB)
José Eduardo Cardozo José Eduardo Cardozo ... Himself - Advogado de Dilma / Ex-Ministro da Justiça
Eduardo Cunha Eduardo Cunha ... Himself - Presidente da Câmara dos Deputados (PMDB)
Carlos Henrique Gaguim Carlos Henrique Gaguim ... Himself - Deputado (PTN)
Paulo Maluf Paulo Maluf ... Himself - Deputado (PP)
Roberto Requião Roberto Requião ... Himself - Senador (PMDB)
Jean Wyllys Jean Wyllys ... Himself - Deputado (PSOL)


A cautionary tale for these times of democracy in crisis, the personal and political fuse in The Edge of Democracy to explore one of the most dramatic periods in Brazilian history. Combining unprecedented access to Presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff with accounts of her own family's complex political and industrial past, filmmaker Petra Costa (Elena, 2012) witnesses their rise and fall and the tragically polarized nation that remains.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I fear our democracy was nothing but a short-lived dream See more »


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 June 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Impeachment See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Busca Vida Filmes See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


On his campaign, Jair Bolsonaro relied heavily on social media, and his most potent weapon was WhatsApp. With the assistance of Steve Bannon, his close supporters illegally hired many companies (such contracts were revealed to be up to 3 million dollars each, undeclared) to create hundreds of groups to spread misinforming and misleading content against his main political rival Fernando Haddad (from the Workers Party) and the minority groups Bolsonaro attacked during his run. See more »


Features Junho: O Mês que Abalou o Brasil (2014) See more »


Bachianas brasileiras no. 5
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User Reviews

A great review of our history, although not a imparcial one
19 June 2019 | by aqueleluccaSee all my reviews

It's beautiful to get to see a brazilian-produced documentary about brazilians, made with such responsible care throughout decades of filming.

What lacks in this film, I think, are basically two things. Not in production or structure, in any way, but in narrative.

At the same time that Petra's perspective of brazilian society adds to the experience of the movie, like her interesting backstory and presence in important political moments (awesomely shown), I feel like a certain degree of a clearer impartiality would really benefit the story that is told. Of course that, being a personal telling of Brazil's history like this movie is, will inevitably include opinions, which are fairly presented. But I can't help but to think that watching a little more of the other side of the political scandals, against the subjects of the film for example, would really be of benefit - not only to the movie to be it's best and completest version it can be (by showing how complicated "choosing a side" can be), but concomitantly inviting a wider public that can watch and rate it fairly, and discuss more easily by having both sides widely expressed.

The second lacking, in a way, is the proposal of many unanswered questions. Probably it is intentional. Maybe by the fact that the story told in this documentary isn't yet completed in reality, and most of the questions are still unanswerable today; or maybe because of the willingness of the director to portray this political scenery in a personal way, proposing that the narrator wants to show it hasn't means to respond to what will happen. Either way, some answers would enrich, I think, the narrative.

Being a Brazilian myself, with a burning love for cinema, getting impressed by the quality of filmmaking and real moments, portrayed in a production from where I come from, was a really awesome feeling - although this film has a bit too much filming of Brasilia's buildings and beauty-shots. The technical aspects of the film are impressive, even more by the content of rare moments of our recent history - a feeling of "being there" I don't get since watching Poitras' Academy-awarded "Citizenfour".

It's really worth it to watch this film, even if you disagree with the points presented. To admire the handling of a great filmmaker, that has great patience and structure to tell a great perspective. This movie is a bright sign in the future of brazilian cinema.

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