Wagner Moura as Sergio

Wagner Moura & Greg Barker | Sergio

by W. Andrew Powell

Sergio is the sombre, moving story of UN diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello, and what would be his last mission in Iraq, following the 2003 US invasion.

Director Greg Barker returns to the life story of the famed diplomat, after he directed a documentary in 2009 about him, with star Wagner Moura as the charismatic peacekeeper.

While the film is focused on Sergio’s troubles in Iraq, the story travels through moments of his life to show how he got to that moment, and the politics that led to the bombing of the UN building in Baghdad where he was stationed.

Last week, I chatted with Moura and Barker about making the film, how they worked to show his humanity and accomplishments, as well as how Moura worked to show Sergio as a real person, rather than a hero.

“I was thinking when I was answering this very same question about [playing] Pablo Escobar [in Netflix’s Narcos],” Moura said. “And it’s interesting because Pablo was not a monster, and Sergio was not a saint. They were real people… Sergio was a guy who was trying to save the world, but at the same time, had a very complicated and chaotic personal life.”

The two also spoke about how they felt the film speaks to the politics of today, including Sergio’s story of peace and hope.

Watch the video below, and watch the film on Netflix now.

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