In her new film, The Edge of Democracy, director Petra Costa tells the story of how Brazil went from a rising star among free nations to a democracy on the verge of collapse. With unprecedented access, Costa documents the rise and fall of Brazil’s Workers Party and its charismatic leader Lula da Silva, the impeachment of Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, and the rise of President Jair Bolsonaro who has ushered in, as Costa puts it, a new era of rule by the bible, the bullet, and the banks. In this very personal conversation, Laura and Petra discuss life and politics in the U.S. and Brazil—nations built on land theft, genocide, and extraction. They wonder if democracy can survive in states that fail to reckon with their pasts. “Baiana (A Girl Born in Bahia)” by Gaby Hernandez from her album Spirit Reflection courtesy of Mr. Bongo Records.
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