Sergio (2020)
118 min|Biography, Drama, History|17 Apr 2020
6.2Rating: 6.2 / 10 from 10,932 usersMetascore: 55
A sweeping drama set in the chaotic aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, where the life of top UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello hangs in the balance during the most treacherous mission of his career.

Sergio is a biographical drama film which depicted the life of one of the most influential UN diplomats, Sergio Vieira de Mello. The film is directed by Greg Barker, who has previously produced a biographical documentary with the same title. Sergio is played by several international stars, Wagner Moura, Ana de Armas, Garret Dillahunt, Bryan F, O’Byrne, and Will Dalton. Armed with the filmmaker’s experience of the character, is he able to make exciting and quality fiction films?

The story of the film is uniquely told through flashback techniques. The present story tells when the character must survive while terrorists, bomb the United Nations temporary office in Baghdad. In his pain and suffering, under the rubble of the building, his story began to move back. Where he first met his idol, Carolina (Armas) on the sidelines of his struggle for independence for East Timor, then in Cambodia, New York, and his family life in Brazil.

The storytelling effort through the flashback segment is indeed impressive. However, the execution was not as expected. Something is missing here. The struggle carried out by the character almost no interest and even less prestige with the love story. What the protagonist is doing is like a patch for his love story. One segment of flashbacks in Brazil did not help the characterization of the character, merely describing how he gave priority to his own family who needed his attention, without emotion. Nothing is inspiring in his story and unable to bring our empathy to the figure of Sergio.

Baca Juga  No Time to Die

For Indonesian audiences, there are undoubtedly many interesting things in the story. Mainly because the location takes time before the East Timor independence. Several significant figures appeared in this film, such as Xanana Gusmao and President Gus Dur. The setting is also very nuanced in Indonesia, even if it is located somewhere else. I certainly cannot say much about politics, but in this film, it is as if our nation is indeed cornered into a nation of oppressors. Common people certainly do not know exactly how the meeting Sergio and Gus Dur, whether as depicted in the scene in the film. However, as quoted by the news, the fact is that Gus Dur, on behalf of all the people of Indonesia, has apologized for the military repression carried out by the previous government for 25 years which has claimed many victims.

Sergio tries to offer the heroic story of the protagonist by dominating the plot of the flashback plot without being able to present a compelling and inspiring story. All statesmen must know the figure of Sergio, a heroic figure who has always fought for the rights of the oppressed people in many international conflicts in various countries. Unfortunately, this film cannot describe this figure adequately. All heroes certainly have a lot of sacrifices and extraordinary effort that can not be done by many people. This is not seen in the film.

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A lifelong cinephile, he cultivated a deep interest in film from a young age. Following his architectural studies, he embarked on an independent exploration of film theory and history. His passion for cinema manifested in 2006 when he began writing articles and film reviews. This extensive experience subsequently led him to a teaching position at the esteemed Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta. From 2003 to 2019, he enriched the minds of students by instructing them in Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory. His scholarly pursuits extended beyond the classroom. In 2008, he published his seminal work, "Understanding Film," which delves into the core elements of film, both narrative and cinematic. The book's enduring value is evidenced by its second edition, released in 2018, which has become a cornerstone reference for film and communication academics across Indonesia. His contributions extend beyond his own authorship. He actively participated in the compilation of the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Volumes 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Further solidifying his expertise, he authored both "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). His passion for film extends to the present day. He continues to provide insightful critiques of contemporary films on, while actively participating in film production endeavors with the Montase Film Community. His own short films have garnered critical acclaim at numerous festivals, both domestically and internationally. Recognizing his exceptional talent, the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival shortlisted his writing for Best Film Criticism (Top 15). His dedication to the field continues, as he currently serves as a practitioner-lecturer for Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts' Independent Practitioner Program.


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