Oliver Stone's "Lula" Documentary Premieres at Cannes 2024: A Deep Dive into Brazil’s Political Turmoil

Oliver Stone's much-anticipated documentary, "Lula," just made its grand debut at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival. This powerful film chronicles the tumultuous journey of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the thrice-elected President of Brazil, focusing on his imprisonment between 2018 and 2019 and his remarkable return to power.

Por: Brazilcore

Stone’s exploration into Lula’s life is not just a biography but a critical look at Brazil's political landscape from 2016 to 2022. Lula's presidency from 2002 to 2010 marked significant progress for Brazil, followed by a period of political upheaval leading to the controversial impeachment of his successor, Dilma Rousseff, and the rise of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018.

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What is this documentary about?

Oliver Stone: "It’s about the period where Lula was thrown in prison for almost two years, and, more generally, the period between 2016 and 2022. As President of Brazil for two terms from 2002 to 2010, he was responsible for a lot of the country’s progress. Then came Dilma Rousseff, who was removed from office in the framework of very strange legal proceedings. Then the situation in Brazil went much further to the right, with Jair Bolsonaro becoming president in 2018."

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What interested you in particular about his imprisonment?

Oliver Stone: "Lula found himself in prison as a result of a coup. He proved this in the film, noting that he had been imprisoned as a result of what they call in South America, and other countries, 'lawfare', the political instrumentalisation of justice which consists in putting someone behind bars by means of a number of laws guided by and motivated by political considerations. It was a dirty story. It’s interesting to see how Lula got out of prison, which was miraculous, thanks to a hacker that we interviewed. He told us an extraordinary story, which then took place: Lula was freed, he returned to politics and narrowly beat Bolsonaro during the 2022 elections."

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You decided to favour interviews?

Oliver Stone: "I talked to Lula about his entire life, he’s a good man. I think that he represents something that we’ve really forgotten about: we can have good, liberal presidents. We don’t need war. He’s one of the most pacifist people in the world that I know, and he has the ability to get people to talk again, to lead countries to change their policies.

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