By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Thursday, May 17th, Brazilian documentary “O Processo” (The Trial, 2018) made its big-screen debut in Rio de Janeiro. Directed by Maria Augusta Ramos, the documentary narrates the controversial downfall of Brazil’s former president Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached by the National Congress in August 2016.
Coproduced by German company Autentika Films and the Dutch Conijn Film, “O Processo” analyzes the most important events from the impeachment process – including the inflamed speeches in the lower house’s voting phase and the final decision in the Senate.
Blending footage of Rousseff’s trial in the Congress with images of street protests (both for and against the former president), “O Processo” stands out for presenting exclusive, unreleased scenes of the backstage of the impeachment.
Following the strategic meetings of the PT (the Workers Party) leaders in the Senate, the documentary shows the efforts from the former government representatives to fight the allegedly legally inconsistent accusations of fiscal crimes against Dilma, prove her innocence and make her remain in office.
Having spent several months in Brasília, closely following the impeachment process in the National Congress, director Maria Augusta Ramos claims to have gathered 450 hours of footage – accurately edited and then transformed into the 137 minute documentary. Like Ramos’ previous works, “O Processo” does not include interviews, avoiding to “intervene” in the events.
According to the director, who have run other political award-winning documentaries, like “Seca” (Drought, 2015) and “Justiça” (Justice, 2004), the film seeks to reflect on the circumstances surrounding Rousseff’s impeachment, as well as its political, moral, ethical and economic consequences for the Brazilian society.
“I hope the film helps Brazilians to look at those events in a less emotional way. Democracy in Brazil is ‘sick’, and I’m really worried about the elections this year. I deeply hope that we have really democratic, open elections with all the candidates that people want to vote for, and that includes Lula”, says Ramos to media outlet Reuters.
O “Processo” was officially released in February this year at Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival, where the documentary was the third placed in the category “Best Documentary”.
What’s more, “O Processo” took home the “Sylvester” Prize and the “Best Feature Length Film” Prize at the Indie Lisboa Film Festival, held in April. The documentary also earned Ramos the award of “Best Feature Length Film” in the same month, at the Swiss Documentary Film Festival “Visions du Reel”.
In Rio, spectators can find “O Processo” in movie theaters like Cine Santa Teresa, in Santa Teresa; Espaço Museu da República, in Catete; Espaço Itaú de Cinema, in Botafogo; and Estação Vivo Gávea, in Gávea.