Netflix: Sergio, a biopic that does not do justice to his protagonist


Wagner Moura and Ana de Armas in a scene from Sergio Credit: Netflix

(Usa, 2020). Address:

Greg Barker.


Wagner Moura, Ana de Armas, Brían F. O’byrne, Bradley Whitford, Garret Dillahunt, Clemens Schick, Will Dalton.


118 minutes.

Available at:


Our opinion: regular.

As busy as varied, the biopics, those movies dedicated to telling the life of famous, infamous, or legendary, for more different in their intentions often stumble with the same stone. When you try to sum up a life in the duration of a movie and make the story in two hours is as fascinating as it was in existence for decades, the writers and directors did not find another option that condense events significant to the point of obtaining a film that is basically a summary of great success or crashing failure. Milestones unforgettable that do not quite reflect the depth of character portrayed, their light and dark and that quality unique that earned the distinction of having a film dedicated to them.

In the case of this film, directed by Greg Barker, based on a documentary that he himself had made about the life of the brazilian diplomat Sergio Vieria Mello, the director admits the defeat from the first scene. “Do you want me to summarize my 34 years of diplomacy in 3 minutes?”, question Mello, played by the brazilian actor Wagner Moura (


), who is also the producer of the film.

Sergio Wagner Moura
Sergio Wagner Moura Credit: Netflix

The tongue-in-cheek disbelief of the diplomat to whom you ask for this monumental task to the recording of a video “inspirational” of the United Nations, seems to warn the viewer: what you are about to see is an attempt to do the impossible. To summarize in a little less than two hours a life so heroic as complex is a huge bet against the experiences of a man who fought for human rights in countries that were experiencing some of the worst moments in its history.

The effort of crossing the vocation of the diplomat of the United Nations world renowned for their peaceful resolutions in areas of conflict such as Cambodia and East Timor with his personal life and romance with Carolina (

Ana de Armas

), an economist, to which I referred in one of his missions, makes the biography loses the focus. Between the tension of the war scenarios that are part of the professional life of Mello and the story of love that seeks to be a counterweight in the face of such tough policy, Barker loses the direction.

With extensive experience in documentary film, this is the first fiction film of the director, something that is evident in much of the ambitious story but especially in the scenes romantic. Although it features two actors are charismatic and talented as Wagner and Weapons, it is certain that they can do little with a script that tends too much to sentimentality. In the scenes where the narration returns to explore to Mello and his tireless search for help to the most needy is when the film manages to justify its existence.