Today it was announced that internationally-renowned actor Wagner Moura (“Narcos,” Elite Squad, The Gray Man) will star in the upcoming biopic from filmmaker Felipe Hirsch, Angicos, as Brazilian educator and author Paulo Freire. Café Royal (Adriana Tavares, Producer) will produce alongside Cenya Productions (Paula Linhares, Producer) and Reagent Media (Marcos Tellechea, Founder and Producer & Guilherme Somlo, Producer).
The riveting story of Angicos begins in the town of the same name in Rio Grande do Norte in 1963, with the mission of educator Paulo Freire (Moura) to fight against illiteracy by teaching the entire village of blue-collar, domestic, and cotton farm workers how to read and write in only 40 hours – a seemingly impossible feat. Funded by President John F. Kennedy to solidify the South American nation as an ally in the Cold War amidst worldwide social and economic tensions, the success of the endeavor resulted in the planned implementation of Freire’s literary system on a nationwide level. However, before long, political uprisings, a military coup and authoritarian local politicians resisted Freire’s education initiative, destroying texts, deeming the curriculum “subversive,” and eventually sending Freire into exile. These events demonstrated the power of literacy and education against autocratic rule – a testament to the significance of Freire’s methods.
“The enchantment amongst the people of Angicos by the battery-powered slide projectors Freire used in his classes is undeniable, especially as they associated the projections with cinema – something rare in their city at this time, as home television sets had not yet arrived,” said writer-director Felipe Hirsch. “To that end, Angicos doubles as a film about the power of cinema and the power of knowledge.”
Casting is underway for the film’s ensemble, with principal photography beginning in November of this year.