In a nation that loves soap operas, the gun control sub plot is being played out in avidly watched TV soap Mulheres Apaixonadas or “Impassioned Women.”
Characters in the past week’s episodes said they would join a demonstration for a ban on gun sales after character “Fernanda” was killed by a stray bullet in Rio, one of the world’s most violent cities.
The characters were joined on their march by some 30,000 real-life demonstrators in the rally on Copacabana beach. Video footage from the protest will be woven into the show.
Reality with fiction
“It’s very important to take advantage of the soap opera medium and mix reality and fiction to get something as important as an end to guns,” Director Rogelio Gomes told Reuters.
Brazil has an estimated 20 million unregistered guns. Gun deaths have outpaced traffic fatalities over the past decade during which more than 260,000 Brazilians were killed by firearms.
“I want disarmament so that no mother has to suffer what I have suffered,” said Maria Rodrigues, whose 20-year-old was shot in a Rio shantytown.