By Sophie Squire
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2821

Documentary charts rise of Bolsonaro but also underestimates him

This article is over 1 years, 7 months old
This new BBC documentary on Jair Bolsonaro has some valuable insights, but also platforms some of his supporters
Issue 2821
Brazillian president Jair Bolsonaro lifts his right arm in the air in a manner reminisicent of a Nazi salute

Jair Bolsonaro is a dangerous figure (Picture: BBC)

This new documentary, attempts to lift the lid on Brazil’s current far right president Jair Bolsonaro. The first episode charts his early life, reveals his deep roots in the military and follows his rise to infamy.

His ascent from a small town to an international far right figurehead is interesting. And the documentary attempts to understand where and how his ideas were formed.

Another valuable aspect of the series is that it reveals how the media knowingly gave Bolsonaro a platform to spout sexist and homophobic bile. It was this that ensured that his hate could reach a wider audience.

While the documentary has its good aspects, it is soft on such a dangerous far right figure. Bolsonaro may have been almost laughable in the past, in the same way former US president Donald Trump was. But both were and still are figureheads for the far right and fascists.

The documentary also includes many voices sympathetic to Bolsonaro. These even include Trump’s former strategist and far right figure, Steve Bannon.

It’s dangerous to underestimate figures such as Bolsonaro—and unfortunately this documentary does just that.

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