Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Acclaimed Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho (Aquarius, VIFF 16) takes a decisive turn into genre with Bacurau, his unpredictable new feature, co-directed with production designer Juliano Dornelles. Set somewhere on the Brazilian sertão "a few years from now," the film opens with the town matriarch of Bacurau already dead. But it’s not long before deadly occurrences raise the remote locale’s overall body count, and the town’s inhabitants - among them an unhinged, foul-mouthed doctor played by Sonia Braga - find their home under siege by malevolent forces.
Recalling everything from Seven Samurai to classic westerns to ’80s genre fare, Bacurau is a slippery, shapeshifting vision that will satisfy gore-hounds and world cinema aficionados alike. Delivering one of the bloodiest, most rousing films of the 2019 Cannes competition, Mendonça Filho and Dornelles have crafted a fiercely political core to match their film’s gonzo exterior. Featuring a cosmic overture, unexplained hallucinogens, and an abundance of mysterious coffins, this is the kind of movie that feels like it could go anywhere - and then actually does.
"Wittily set at the intersection of the art house and the grindhouse… [Bacurau] easily seduces and then it shocks… A heart-thumping political allegory that tips its hat to masters like John Carpenter." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Jury Prize (ex aequo), Cannes 19