Following up his documentary Pictures of Ghosts, Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho has unveiled his first narrative feature since 2019’s Bacurau. He’ll next direct the political thriller The Secret Agent, set to star Brazilian icon Wagner Moura (Elite Squad, Civil War).

Variety reports the late 1970s-set film will follow Moura as Marcelo, “a university professor in his 40s who is on the run. He travels from São Paulo to the seaside city of Recife during Carnival week, hoping to reunite with his son. But he soon finds out he has been tailed and spied on by neighbors in his new refuge, leaving him no possible escape from the tentacles of corruption.” Maria Fernanda Candido (The Traitor) is also among the ensemble of the film, which is aiming for a 2025 premiere and will mark the director’s most ambitious work yet.

The director actually revealed the project last year, saying, “The plot takes place in 1977, but it is not a dictatorship film: it is about the logic of Brazil. It’s a history film that takes place almost 50 years ago. I was nine years old at the time, the film comes from childhood memories. Pictures of Ghosts helped me unlock this film. You know that moment when you’re a little stuck with the script? These two films have a very strong connection, due to their immersion in the past. Because I did a lot of research, and accessed the national library, which is even in the film. I saw old newspapers. And it’s very interesting to research the tone of the country. What I don’t want is to create a sweetened version of the country, because it’s a tendency, when the past is revisited, it tends to be reclassified in the present specifications. This film I think is going to be a little rough in that sense.”

For more on Moura’s latest, listen to our discussion of Civil War below.

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