While Fabio Barreto remains unconscious after a car accident, his Lula, the Son of Brazil has been chosen to represent the country in the Foreign Language Oscar race.
This biopic about the Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was selected because of Lula’s popularity in Brazil and abroad and also his overcoming life story.
The film follows his journey from his poor childhood in the interior of Pernambuco (in the Northeast of Brazil) until his ascension as the most influential union leader in the country - which opened the door for his political career.
In terms of box office, the biopic wasn’t a big commercial success. It sold less than 1 million tickets, grossing $4m (6.9m Brazilian real) in the country.
Even if Lula is the fourth highest grossing domestic film of 2010 - behind Daniel Filho’s Chico Xavier, with a gross of $17.7m, Wagner de Assis’ Nosso Lar, with $16.4m, and Guel Arraes’ O Bem Amado with $4.8m.
If nominated for an Oscar, Lula will be the second Fabio Barreto film to compete for an Academy Award - after O Quatrilho, nominated in 1996.
The director remains unconscious since December 2009, when he had a serious car accident in Rio de Janeiro. In February, he left the intensive care unit of a hospital in Copacabana to be taken care at home.
Fabio is the youngest son of producers Luiz Carlos Barreto and Lucy Barreto. His brother, Bruno Barreto, also had a film nominated for an Oscar, at the same category, in 1998, with Four Days in September.