He’s been called “the world’s ‘poorest’ president”… But Uruguayan President José “Pepe” Mujica apparently has a wealth of Hollywood appeal.
The 78-year-old Uruguayan politician will be the subject of a documentary from Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
The film will begin shooting next December, during Mujica’s scheduled visit to the United States.
According to Uruguayan weekly Busqueda, the idea came from Mujica’s staff, which 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 Uruguayan soccer team t-shirt.
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 together 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 the country’s 40th 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.”
Mujica donates around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities to benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs, according to BBC News Magazine.