New Delhi, Jun 5 (PTI) Filmmaker Breno Silveira, the director of Amazon's first Brazilian series 'Dom', believes that stories with human relations as well as emotions at core transcend borders and engage audiences despite the linguistic barrier.
Inspired by true events, the series is about a father and son pair, who both grew up in Rio de Janeiro but find themselves pitted against each other in the world of crime and drugs.
Silveira, who also serves as the showrunner on the series, said the themes and issues that the show explores are universal in nature.
'I always think that a story, when it talks about relationships and bonds, becomes universal. Maybe the situation of drugs is different in India, or even the violence is different in India, but all stories that are told with the heart and humanity are international.
'The focus of my work is always emotions because emotions cross boundaries. I just love to watch and tell things that touch me and this is the nature of my work,' the 57-year-old director told PTI in an interview over Zoom from Rio de Janeiro.
'Dom', which started streaming on Amazon Prime Video from Friday, presents the story of Victor Dantas (Flavio Tolezani) and his son Pedro Dom (played by Gabriel Leone).
It follows Victor, a police officer whose life mission has been to get rid of drug menace in the city. But sadly, his own son Pedro gets entangled in the world of drugs and later becomes a gang leader.
The story also focuses on Victor's past as a young diver who becomes a military intelligence agent and embraces the war on drugs.
Silveira, known for directing critically-acclaimed movies 'The Seamstress', 'Along the Way' and 'Two Sons of San Francisco', said 'Dom' is quite different from his past work.
'This work is slightly different because of the presence of violence. But if I was not telling this story from the human side, then it would not have interested me.
''Dom' is not an action movie. It's a drama. A beautiful drama between father and son, which is universal and very important in my opinion.' The project started 12 years ago, when the real-life Victor met the filmmaker and urged him to make a movie about his story.
'After many years, I went back to this story as it was very heavy. He was deeply affected by what happened. A book was also written in the meantime.
'I had some doubts but I was convinced that it was a very important story to be told here in Brazil, so we could understand the impact of drugs on a person,' Silveira said.
Another reason why the director decided to take up this project was to understand the transformation of Rio de Janeiro due to the drug menace.
'We have thousands of movies and shows about drugs, but I took a different approach. I wanted to understand the reasons for drugs and violence. And Victor was a witness of this. He was an undercover agent at the age of 21.
'He saw their first load of cocaine reaching Brazil. He saw how Rio de Janeiro was transformed and how the money generated by drug trafficking twisted our city, infiltrated politics and law enforcement, and corrupted our society,' he noted.
Silveira chose Pedro as the second anchor for the story because he wanted to get an inside perspective into the drug culture.
'Pedro was a drug addict so you could understand drugs from the eyes of a person who has been trying to quit since the age of 13. So it was a story that was clear to understand the moment that we are in and somehow many countries are facing this same situation.' When asked if he believes that the battle against drugs is a lost cause, the director said he has come to realise that a solution to any issue can never be violence.
'I feel that the solution that we are looking for to this problem is not working so far, at least in a more macro view of the state. What has become very clear to me throughout this process since this story came to me 12 years ago is that you can't fight violence with more violence.
'We live in an extremely violent country and we talk about it a lot in the Brazilian audiovisual sector. What I wanted to do with 'Dom' was to understand this problem from the inside, from another perspective,' Silveira said.
'Dom' is streaming on Amazon Prime Video in its original Portuguese language as well as dubbed in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. PTI RB SHD SHD