The 66th Sydney Film Festival – 5-16 June 2019

Straight from Cannes, Brazilians Kleber Mendonça Filho (Aquarius, SFF 2016) and Juliano Dornelles’ deliver a searing political parable and a magic-realist, explosive genre film.

2019 Brazil, France 132 minutes Unclassified 18+

In the near future, in the small village of Bacurau, the people are in mourning at the loss of the matriarch, Carmelita, who lived to be 94. In his eulogy, her son says of her: “In our family, we have everyone from bricklayers to scientists, businesspeople, teachers, gigolos and whores. But no thief was ever born out of her.” It serves as an apt description of the town too: a diverse group of people who share a sense of honour and pride. But all is not well in Bacurau. The water supply has been cut off through nefarious political deals, and now it appears that the village has vanished from most maps. The local mayor of the region visits to drum up support for his re-election, bearing dilapidated books and questionable medication, but is treated with contempt. Worse yet, unbeknownst to the people of Bacurau, not far away is a group of foreigners planning something extremely sinister. Mendonça Filho and Dornelles delicately build the tension until it explodes in a most unexpected way. In its potent combination of political critique and genre mayhem, Bacurau is unique, stunning and a rousing call for solidarity.

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