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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 (additional writing) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »





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


A cautionary tale of a democracy in crisis See more »


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Although it was acquired by Netflix for international distribution, the film also played briefly in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. See more »


Petra Costa: The fact that there is no evidence that he's the owner of the apartment is considered proof of his attempt to hide it, and this proof is used as evidence that he's the mastermind of the scheme.
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Features 20 Centavos (2014) See more »


Bachianas brasileiras no. 5
Written by Heitor Villa-Lobos
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User Reviews

A personal yet solid narrative of a global phenomenon
23 January 2020 | by rbmoraesSee all my reviews

This movie is a very personal account of Brazil's latest years of democracy. The narrative is beautifully constructed, interweaving past and more recent footage of what becomes the director's memories - it's actually narrated by her, as if she was showing someone a photo album or as if she was recounting a dream (or a nightmare, you decide).

Some people will say it's a biased, leftist portrait of events. Others will say it portrays the lamentable political coup that led to presidents Dilma Rousseff's impeachment and Lula's imprisonment and the rise of the far-right politics in Brazil.

Maybe both sides are right. It portrays a contemporary yet not domestic phenomenon: the pollarization of politics - the divergence of political attitudes to ideological extremes - which seems to be happening in different parts of the world (see the U.S.A, for example).

On a personal note, this movie touched me deeply and I couldn't help but think that politics no longer (if ever) means to serve society, but personal interests. Politcs has become a disclosed, shameless power play. And how does the population witness it? Some people stopped thinking about purpose and started rooting for the players.

In that sense, this movie is about dreams: it doesn't matter who wins. If we don't start making smart choices, everyone's going to lose. I just hope people wake up in time.

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Portuguese | English

Release Date:

19 June 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Impeachment See more »

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Production Co:

Busca Vida Filmes See more »
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