After picking up a Grand Jury Prize at Cannes after its May debut, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ wholly unclassifiable genre thriller (which also happens to be a Western, a political allegory for our times, and frequently funny enough to also mark it as a comedy) went on to dominate the Brazilian box office with a $2.5 million take, good enough to place it over Hollywood offerings like “Us,” “Knives Out,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Now, after screening at festivals like TIFF and NYFF, the film is finally gearing up for its U.S. release. Good luck slotting this one in a handy genre box.
Per the film’s official synopsis: “A few years from now… Bacurau, a small village in the Brazilian Sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita, who lived to be 94. Days later, its inhabitants notice that their village has literally vanished from most maps and a UFO-shaped drone starts flying overhead. There are forces that want to expel them from their homes, and soon, in a genre-bending twist, a band of armed mercenaries arrive in town picking off the inhabitants one by one. A fierce confrontation takes place when the townspeople turn the tables on the villainous outsiders, banding together by any means necessary to protect and maintain their remote community.”
The film stars Sônia Braga, Udo Kier (being very Udo Kier), Karine Teles, Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, and Silvero Pereira.
In his glowing review of the film at Cannes, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote that “Bacurau” is “a gloriously demented (and lightly psychedelic) Western that starts in outer space, ends with Udo Kier being hunted by a ghost, and spends the rest of its runtime blending everything from ‘Seven Samurai’ to ‘Hostel’ into a bloody and unapologetic ‘fuck you’ to anyone who thinks that cutting edge technology entitles them to see the world as their own personal slaughterhouse.” So, it’s a little different than Mendonça Filho’s previous features “Neighboring Sounds” and “Aquarius.” Just a smidge.
Kino Lorber will open in New York City on March 6 with a national rollout to follow. Check out the first U.S. trailer for “Bacurau,” available exclusively on IndieWire, below.