Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB .
Brazil/France, 2019. Ancine, Arte France Cinema, CNC Aide aux cinémas du monde – Institut Français, CinemaScópio Produções, Globo Filmes, Globosat / Telecine, SBS Films, Símio Filmes. Screenplay by Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles. Cinematography by Pedro Sotero. Produced by Said Ben Said, Michel Merkt. Music by Mateus Alves, Tomaz Alves Souza. Production Design by Thales Junqueira. Costume Design by Rita Azevedo. Film Editing by Eduardo Serrano. Cannes Film Festival 2019. Toronto International Film Festival 2019.
A woman goes to her family’s village and attends the death of her grandmother, the nonagenarian matriarch of Bacurau whose death is quickly followed by a number of strange events. Cell phone service is cut off, digital maps stop showing the place as existing and, late at night, people see a flying saucer drone flying through the air. Then it turns serious when neighbours’ dead bodies start showing up in their homes and we learn that the place is being targeted by a mysterious group of highly skilled killers who have set up base nearby, their reasons unknown and their methods cold and vicious. The villagers remain vulnerable to these attacks until taking it upon themselves to fight back, and it leads to bloody retribution as merciless as what they were put through. Featuring gemlike performances from the likes of Udo Kier and Sonia Braga, this entertaining horror film combines grindhouse delights with deeper considerations of colonialism and class. It’s not as profound as co-director Kleber Mendonca Filho’s exploration of similar issues, Neighbouring Sounds, but the technical aspects of the movie are on point and it’s never for a moment dull.