(CBS Local)– Greg Barker is known internationally for his documentaries, but on Friday, April 17 his new narrative film called “Sergio” starring Ana de Armas and Wagner Moura will be released on Netflix.
Barker’s movie is about a former United Nations diplomat named Sérgio Vieira de Mello, who fights for peace and his life in Iraq. While the filmmaker had already done a documentary about de Mello, he jumped at the opportunity to dive into the emotional journey of the UN diplomat.READ MORE: Karen Bass Officially Kicks Off Her Run For Mayor Of Los Angeles At Saturday Event
“Sergio de Mello was a very interesting guy. He probably saw more war and human suffering than anyone else in his generation,” said Barker in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “He was Brazilian and from a diplomatic family, but he left Brazil to travel to Europe at a young age. He ended up working for the United Nations in their human rights division and refugee work. He ended up becoming the UN envoy in Iraq. The interesting thing about him is that he didn’t see himself clearly. He had a complicated and messy personal life. He tries to make a new life just as he is the target of a terrorist attack.”READ MORE: Police Investigating Shooting In South Los Angeles
The terrorist attack Barker mentioned ended up killing de Mello in August 2003. While there were many ups and downs in de Mello’s journey, Barker believes the love story captured in this movie supersedes the political implications involved.
“It’s a great love story. There are amazing performances by Wagner Moura, who people will know from Narcos as Pablo Escobar,” said Barber. “He’s transformed himself and looks more naturally like Sergio than Escobar. Ana de Armas is Carolina Larriera in our movie. She just has this extraordinary screen presence. Anyone who has seen her in other films knows that. I think what makes her special is that she’s very grounded as a person and comes from a very humble background in Cuba. She remembers where she came from and she brings that authenticity and ability to connect with people to her performance, which is what in fact the character Carolina is all about. She reminds Sergio, who at the time is losing his way, of why he got into the United Nations.”MORE NEWS: Strike Averted: IATSE And AMPTP Have 'Basic Contract' Agreement, Per Officials With The Theatrical Stage Employees Union
Watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.