Brazilian filmmaker Petra Costa reflects on the political scene of her beloved country both past and future in her latest documentary Edge of Democracy. Costa's reflection is somewhat of a love letter to her fellow countrymen questioning if longing for a democratic country is only but a dream or a short-lived reality. This is a personal story. A reflective story and a tale to be told.
In 1985, Costa is a young child. She recalls the markings of a democratic country taking form after her countrymen living for years under a military dictatorship. A member of the working-party, Lula de Silva protested against such authoritarian rule and suffered greatly for it winning the hearts of the people. He continued to be a bold and loud voice that would fight for his people to have a democratic society.
Brazil soon had a new lease of life and over-turned the military dictatorship putting the people's choice, Lula de Silva in place to lead Brazil's new democracy along with his protégée, Dilma Rousselff. Brazil's old guard from the dictatorship era was not going to go down without a long drawn-out fight. Times changed for the old guard. If they wanted to regain power they'd have to strategically plan their coup with a secret coalition. The key would be to swing the hearts of the people, like a pendulum, so they can to see that democracy is not the best way of life but the return to a military leadership for growth and development in modern world is the answer to their happiness. The old guard put their people in place and slowly worked to bring down the democratic leadership.
Costa's personal and political report unravels Brazil's identity crisis that includes widespread institutional corruption. Costa's Edge of Democracy follows the downfall of democracy to once again be faced with the impulse of the old guard. Documenting these historical events, interviews and proceedings Costa examines, "the complex forces at play that erode one system and replace it with another." How far toward a death defying edge is one willing to stand when democracy is on the line?