Netflix documentary The Edge of Democracy is a dense, deep-rooted documentary offering insight into Brazil’s recent political history.
I cannot profess to understand the political complexities of Brazil, but Netflix documentary The Edge of Democracy is a vacuum of work that provides a landscape to the escalating issues happening in that country. I specifically remember during the 2014 FIFA World Cup how the media platformed Brazil as a country of corruption, with workers uncared for, and plentiful cash reserves spilling into hosting a football tournament. The empty stadia that remain, lifeless with no use, made the world’s biggest sporting event look disrespectful.
The Edge of Democracy mixes a memoir and insider footage leading up to the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. Most of the footage shows insightful interviews of Dilma and the former President Lulu; two political figures that provided hope to a democratic Brazil and injected life into workers that felt their needs were unaccounted for. Again, as someone who knows little about Brazillian politics, I was not swayed either way by the Netflix documentary, but the soft narration and the description of the years leading up to these influential people platforming to power was wholly convincing that they initially changed Brazil for good.
In its 2-hour run-time, The Edge of Democracy questions the motives of the politicians that heralded the impeachment. The Netflix documentary proudly stamps Brazil as the nation that prospered during the global recession and held a president that had the highest approval ratings ever. The footage and narration suggest a rise, but soon converts the tone into doom and gloom, signifying a fall in democracy, a crisis of politics. It’s useful footage that gives accounts by Dilma and Lulu only help propel the documentary’s evidence, though I do question if more knowledgeable commentators would highlight bias.
The one major take I got from Netflix documentary The Edge of Democracy, which was something I already knew, is that Brazil is a fragile country at present. New hope and togetherness are eagerly needed.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.