Emir Kusturica to Direct Documentary on Uruguayan President

The film about Jose "Pepe" Mujica will be a Uruguayan/Argentine/Brazilian co-production and will start shooting in December, when the politician visits the U.S. to meet with President Barack Obama.

BUENOS AIRES -- Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica is attached to direct a documentary about Uruguayan President Jose "Pepe" Mujica. The film will start shooting next December, during Mujica’s scheduled visit to the U.S.

According to Uruguayan weekly Busqueda, the idea came from Mujica’s staff, who contacted the director of Underground 18 months ago. Last week, Kusturica played a concert in Belgium with his No Smoking Orchestra and confirmed his involvement as the project’s director and scriptwriter. Kusturica played that gig wearing the national Uruguayan soccer team T-shirt.

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The film, which will kick-off principal photography when Mujica meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in December, will be produced with Uruguayan, Argentine, and Brazilian capital. Argentine production company K&S Films is reportedly researching archive footage.

A former left-wing guerrilla fighter, Mujica was a political prisoner during the 1970s. He managed to escape prison in 1971 with other Tupamaros leaders but was shot six times and recaptured by police. He served another 14 years and was released in 1985 when democracy was restored in the country. Since he was elected president in 2010, Mujica has made headlines worldwide due to Uruguay’s recent  groundbreaking liberal policies -- laws legalizing gay marriage, abortion, and marijuana were passed by Congress -- and his extremely humble and discreet style, which has won him the depiction of being "the world's poorest president."