“Bacurau” (from directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles), top winner in the Key West Film Festival foreign film category, defies convention with the kitschy gusto of a Midnight Movie cult film.
Set in Brazil in a village that doesn’t exist in the eyes of Anglos, the film is a detailed look of indigenous life, ridiculed, disrespected and under threat of genocide with echoes of Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah. The people in the small village are frequently without power or water. The town is under the infantile whim of baby-faced politician Tony Jr. (Thardelly Lima).
Bacurau is a proud town with an individualist history but nothing grows there except some deadly cacti with shark’s teeth. Abruptly a spaceship appears with some neon clad tourists. Gory trouble ensues. Warhol film star Udo Keir co-stars as an aging, existential Anglo-Saxon egotist with a high powered space gun in what may be his most nuanced performance. The Legendary actor Sonia Braga is a fearless doctor who is the first resident to stare him down in one of the film’s most dramatic scenes.
“Bacurau” is a wondrous genre-shifting film about revenge and the toxicity of Western entitlement.
Bacurau is available for streaming here; your ticket purchase supports the Tropic!
Write Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org