Nicola Gavioli is a Professor of the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Program at FIU, with great passion for his work. Born and raised in Italy, he pursued a language completely foreign to him and made it his own. His rapid embrace led him to treasure not only the language but also the literature and cultural history, moving him to transmit the same passion to his students in the courses he teaches. Currently he teaches two film courses: Brazilian Cinema (POW 4390) and Brazilian Cinema and Human Rights (POW 4391) among a variety of other courses.
Few films ‘based on true events’ feel as ridiculously over the top as Doug Liman’s American Made (2017). Based on the life of pilot Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), the film follows Barry as he becomes a CIA informant taking photographs of communist rebellion groups in Central America, starts smuggling cocaine for Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel, and subsequently smuggles Russian guns to the Nicaraguan Contras on behalf of the United States Government. Let’s not forget that most of Barry’s bizarre smuggling career took place during then-President Ronald Reagan’s infamous “War on Drugs”. It sounds too comical to be true, and yet the story told by the film is closer to fact than it is to fiction.