Jair Bolsonaro – Brazil’s sexist, racist, pro-torture presidential candidate – currently has the support of most of the country. But why? Filmmaker Lucca Messer joins the crowds to investigate.

Jair Bolsonaro – Brazil’s sexist, racist, pro-torture presidential candidate – currently has the support of most of the country. But why? Filmmaker Lucca Messer joins the crowds to investigate.

So it has come to this. Two years after a parliamentary coup that deposed a democratically elected president, Brazil is now set to elect Jair Bolsonaro – a racist, misogynist homophobe whose rhetoric and tactics are straight out of the Nazi playbook.

In Bolsonaro’s world, communists are a perennial threat, self-pitying minorities should stop whining, and guns are awesome! (The more the merrier, so that ‘good citizens’ can shoot the bad guys, no questions asked).

In a recent rally, the anti-poor Bolsonaro delighted his supporters when he threatened a ‘purge’ of his political rivals: “It will be a clean up the likes of which has never been seen in Brazilian history… Either they go overseas, or they go to jail – these red outlaws will be banished from our homeland.” About his runoff contender, Fernando Haddadhe added: “Haddad, you will rot in prison!” to wild approval from the crowds.

There is much to choose from when it comes to Bolsonaro’s often illegal, always repulsive, rhetoric. And all of it is on the record, too. He once told a congresswoman she “was not worth raping” because “she was very ugly. He said black people from a settlement of former slaves are “not even worth for procreating”, and told the press he’d be incapable of loving a gay son. Refugees, for Bolsonaro, are “the scum of humanity”. And then there’s this: “I’m pro torture, the people are, too”. The list goes on.

You see, the thing with Brazil is this: underneath the mythical Technicolour democracy, there remains a deeply racist and classist society run by business elites and colonial oligarchs. They now have the support of a broad middle class who for some reason think they’re rich, too. Add to this a monumental dose of Bannon-style fake news, economic stagnation and gun crime, a widespread narrative of corruption in politics, and you have the kinda fertile ground for lunatics like Bolsonaro to grow and become a thing.

What’s going on, Brazil? To try and find an answer, filmmaker Lucca Messer tagged along during a massive pro-Bolsonaro rally in Sao Paulo last week. Watch what he discovered above.

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