Breaking Myths is a personal and exceptional documentary from Brazilian and LBGTQ filmmaker Fernando Grostein Andrade. He has created the film to offer his struggle for acceptance as a lens for a much larger and more critical global story. Throughout, Andrade reveals how unacceptable myopic beliefs and understandings of bigotry, racism, and prejudice contribute to a dystopian existence, eventually destroying humanity, beginning with Brazil’s current President, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro is a fanatical far-right politician described as the Brazilian Donald Trump who has made it through the first round of elections to face former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (“Lula”) in a runoff election on October 30, 2022.
Breaking Myths provides a platform of truth in a country led astray by a fascist president who openly planned a bomb attack as a military operator, which some believed was a macho act and set him on a path for political prowess. However, Brazilians love controversy, and somehow Bolsonaro rose through the ranks regardless of his inexcusable behavior, attitude, and mindset, supported along the way by many. The filmmaker leaves no stone unturned as he dives into Bolsonaro’s bizarre political reign. He also provides a context of humanity for the wreckage Bolsonaro is causing to his people and Brazil.
“…reveals how unacceptable myopic beliefs and understandings of bigotry, racism, and prejudice contribute to a dystopian existence…”
From the Amazon River to the small towns across Brazil, Bolsonaro undermines anyone who stands in his way, allowing for a macho vigilante culture to harness the power. Andrade shows that the politician’s tactics are like other countries that fell to fascist dictators and destruction. With privilege comes responsibility, but how that is defined and received is not for the greater good in the spectrum of the current state of Brazil that Andrade meticulously manifests in Breaking Myths. His use of graphics, images, video, interviews, archival footage, and his work provides an enormous education on Brazil and its peculiar politics.
In fear of his existence, Andrade, an attractive and intelligent man filled with great passion, provides his story on how he arrived at his career. Growing up the son of the editor of the Brazilian edition of Playboy, he defined his life as a young boy as an orchid grower, coming out publicly live on YouTube in 2017, and became a target for Bolsonaro’s extremist fan base, which was accompanied with death threats forcing him to leave Brazil.
In his current life in California with his husband, Andrade lives estranged from his Brazilian home because he must. Yet, he connects his thoughts and ideas through his filmmaking and creative media to understand and describe a political movement and culture that can create a type of change in the world or, at the very least, be an influencer. It is frightening, but Andrade has taken it all in miraculous stride even when a stadium of men chants death to faggots.
Andrade reveals how deforestation of the Amazon rainforest will have devastating consequences and makes a point to acknowledge that British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira were killed while researching illegal fishing in the Amazon rainforest in June 2021. Breaking Myths also shows how Bolsonaro’s policies of dismissing protected indigenous land rights and encouraging illegal logging and fishing directly tie to their tragic murders. And how the murder of Brazilian councilwoman, feminist, and human rights activist Marielle Franco was brutally murdered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s all connected to the fascist incumbent Bolsonaro. As political violence rises in Brazil, election day may reveal a fate that cannot be reversed, which Andrade has been watching from afar.
"…provides an enormous education on Brazil and its peculiar politics."