Friday, January 1, 2021

Bacurau

Set in the near future, the small Brazilian village of Bacurau suddenly disappears from maps, satellites, and cell towers not long after the death of the community's matriarch and the return of another member of their community (Bárbara Colen). Far off the beaten path, no one outside the village seems to notice.

While already dealing with a water crisis caused by a crooked politician (Thardelly Lima), tensions begin to rise. As the community slowly becomes aware something is wrong, there is also an odd appearance by a UFO and attacks on both a water truck and at a nearby farm.

Without giving too much away, Bacurau centers around two groups - those in the village and a second group who is slowly revealed to be the cause of Bacurau's recent problems. While the town looks to local heroes (Thomas Aquino and Silvero Pereira) to protect them, we learn about what the other group led by Udo Kier is after, ultimately leading to a climactic conflict in the village.

The genre-bending Brazilian film from writer/directors Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendon├ža Filho is part western, part thriller, part social commentary, and part action film while weaving in elements of sci-fi and a few twists for good measure. While the first half-hour is a bit slow, setting up life in the village, there are already hints of something more going on. As the plot unfolds, a bizarrely fascinating story is revealed. Winning the Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Bacurau is currently available for streaming and available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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