Based on the life of United Nations diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello, “Sergio” is a biopic directed by Greg Barker. It had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was released widely on Netflix.
Sérgio (Wagner Moura) arrives in Iraq following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and coalition forces. He and his staff member Gil (Brían F. O’Byrne) clash with the Coalition Provisional Authority Paul Bremer (Bradley Whitford). Before he can send a report criticizing the actions of the American military, the UN headquarters is attacked and he buried under rubble. As he lays there waiting for help, he has flashbacks to key points in his career, including meeting his girlfriend Carolina Larriera (Ana de Armas) in Indonesia.
The movie has good acting. Moura gives a compelling performance as the UN ambassador as does Armas as Carolina. They both have excellent chemistry in the relationship. I also want to give kudos to Adrian Teijido, who did the cinematography. It is ideal for this film, making the shots feel realistic and matching.
The main problem is how the filmmakers turned this movie into a propaganda reel for the United Nations. While it goes about praising Sergio, it also tries to portray the UN as a necessary globalist organization. Sure, they throw a couple of bones to a few failures, but the movie licks the boots of the UN so much, it ignores their anti-Semitism, the carnage of their “peacekeeping” forces, the oil-for-food scandal, and their out-right inability to prevent conflicts or genocide.
It is a shame because it bills itself as a biopic of Sergio, who did work for the United Nations, granted, but it uses moments of his life to show his dedication to the mission because the UN is just so great and all that. Of course, the movie takes many potshots at the United States with great abandon, but, oh no, do not criticize the UN except for that one time the movie says they got it right.
Sure, it has a few moments of Sergio’s life including his strained relationship with his sons, but its glory marching for the UN overshadowed this, even as he was caught in the explosion of Iraq, which ultimately lead to his death.
Bottom line, the movie has fine acting, but it uses the guise of a biopic as a springboard to provide propaganda for the United Nations and smear the United States. Neither is above criticism, but it interferes with the story of its subject.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some strong language, Violence, Scenes of carnage, Sexual content including nudity
FAVORITE QUOTE: I have the title of your autobiography, “War Criminals: My Friends.”
Check out the trailer below:
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