06.01.2017 09:20

Kusturica's new documentary on "the world's poorest president"

Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica has just completed the documentary about the life of "the world’s poorest president" Jose Mujica.
Kusturica described the project as the culmination of a long love affair with the Latin American left.

"I am a born idealist" said Kusturica, a two-time winner of the the Palme d'Or, top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

"I developed a special vision of the world that is linked to the people I admired from my youth, from Che Guevara to (Fidel) Castro" he said.

"Since I couldn't make anything with these two" - both deceased - "when I heard about a man who was a president and still driving his tractor and fixing his house... I said, 'This is my man.' And I was not wrong."

Mujica was caught up in the revolutionary movements as a young man. In the 1960s and 70s, he was a leader in the Tupamaros, an urban guerrilla movement inspired by the Cuban Revolution.

Captured and jailed, Mujica spent 14 years in prison, held at the bottom of an old well by the military regime then in power.

Freed under a 1985 amnesty law after the restoration of democracy, he became a lawmaker, minister and eventually president all while keeping up work on his humble farm outside the capital, Montevideo.

Mujica rose to fame during his presidency (2010-2015) by living in his farmhouse, driving around in his beat-up car and donating most of his salary to charity.

Now an 81-year-old senator, Mujica made waves as president by delivering tirades against capitalism and consumption at the United Nations and international summits.

A colorful character known as much for his devotion to his three-legged dog as his landmark initiatives legalizing marijuana, abortion and gay marriage, Mujica is simply called "Pepe" in Uruguay.

The documentary combines interviews with archival footage from Mujica's presidency, centers on his final day as president, handing power to his successor and ally, Tabare Vazquez.

Kusturica said, he is hoping to have the film ready in time for the Venice Film Festival in September.