As soon as we finished watching the fifth episode of “Brutal Pact: The Assassination of Daniella Perez”, blockbuster on HBO Max, my wife turned to me and asked, “Why did we spend five hours watching that’s right?” I immediately remembered a joke, I don’t know if Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais or another comedian, who laughed at the success of that documentary about the children who were allegedly abused by Michael Jackson. It really is a sick thing to consume someone else’s tragedy as if it were entertainment.
It was like that, bothered by having been voyeur of a brutality, that I woke up the next day to write “Revenge, Justice and Redemption in ‘The Brutal Pact’” – text from which I only took advantage of the title. In it, I purposely ignored certain aspects of the documentary to focus on a question: is there justice enough for certain cases? That is, can the murderer pay his debt to society and get on with his life? And finally: do we believe or not that even the worst among us can regenerate and achieve some redemption?
As the discomfort persisted, however, I threw it all in the trash. I was even careful to print the text, to make a ball of paper out of it to throw it theatrically into the basket. Because I realized, somewhat esoterically, that this type of documentary is made to arouse only bad feelings in viewers. In relation to the victim’s relatives and relatives, in relation to the murderers, in relation to society and above all in relation to himself. Just in case, I even took a thick salt bath from myself. T’esconjuro!
As a “journalistic product”, for example, it is clear that the series has no revelations to present no doubt to clarify. Nor does it have any pretension to seek the mythical truth. Even because the case was investigated and judged. The culprits were convicted, arrested and, after serving only six years, released. About the murder, the only questions that remain are premeditation and the type of weapon used in the crime. But what difference does that make after thirty years?
If the series’ intention was to show the personality of those involved, so much the worse. “Brutal Pact” takes a toll on it – this in a genre already known for carrying a lot of ink. At one point, for example, Daniella Perez is portrayed almost as a saint whose body refuses to decompose. Swear. Guilherme de Padua’s defense attorney is portrayed as a scoundrel buffoon. Not to mention the sexist delegate, with passages through the torture basements of the Military Dictatorship.
The documentary was not even able to portray a portrait of the artistic environment of the time. On the contrary, “Brutal Pact” chooses to transform the world of soap operas into a kind of Paradise tainted by a narcissistic psychopath (a word widely used in the series). Guilherme de Padua’s ambition, by the way, is seen as something out of the ordinary. As if what prevailed in global television drama was a kind of meritocratic stoicism. It fools me that I like it.
Or rather, I don’t like it. Not when it involves the murder of a person. Not even when the more sordid aspects of a crime are evoked in order to seek a utopian justice (which, by the way, is much more about revenge). Even less so when it becomes clear that, for documentarians, more important than the crime itself is the fact that it is involved in machismo and in the disgusting capitalist ambition, with a dash of what they consider “religious intolerance”. Finally, I don’t like being lied to when I feel like I’ve wasted five hours of my life watching a piece of propaganda whose purpose is to use a mother’s very particular pain to try to prove that human beings are irredeemable. Is not.