Director: Greg Barker
Screenwriters: Craig Borten

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


Brazilian United Nations diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello has an extensive resume: assistant high commissioner for refugees, special representative of the secretary-general in Kosovo, transitional administrator in East Timor. It’s 2003 and his latest role as high commissioner for human rights sees him traveling to Iraq to lead peace efforts under President George W. Bush. As he tries to balance heightening tensions on the ground with his desire to spend more time with his partner, Carolina Larriera, the unexpected and tragic happens, forcing Sergio to reflect on his 34 years of service to the UN and, more importantly, on the woman he loves.

Festival veteran Greg Barker transforms his documentary of the same name (2009 Sundance Film Festival, Documentary Editing Award) into a gripping work of fiction that honors Sergio’s legacy by portraying him in his fullness. Interlacing memories of Sergio’s past with his last moments of life, Barker uses a nonlinear framework to articulate significant moments of Sergio’s personal and professional life. Brazilian actor Wagner Moura delivers one of his finest performances, embodying Sergio with grace, dignity, and courage.

Closed captioning and audio description are available for this film.

— A.D.

Screening Details

  • Section: Premieres
  • Film Type: US Narrative Feature
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Language: English and Portuguese/Spanish/French
  • Run Time: 118 min.
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