Kleber Mendoça Filho, Juliano Dornelles, Brazil 2019, 131 mins R16 graphic violence, sex scenes, offensive language, nudity
A vibrant, richly diverse backcountry Brazilian town finds its sun-dappled day-to-day disturbed when its inhabitants become the targets of a group of armed mercenaries. The perpetrators of this class warfare, however, may have met their match in the fed-up, resourceful denizens of little Bacurau. Those who remember Kleber Mendonça Filho’s wonderful crowd-pleaser Aquarius starring Sônia Braga – who appears here in a memorable supporting role – might be surprised by the new terrain and occasional ultraviolence of his latest, codirected with his long-time production designer Juliano Dornelles. Yet this wild shape-shifter shares with that film the exhilaration of witnessing society’s forgotten and marginalized standing up for themselves by any means necessary. With references to the fearless genre works of John Carpenter, George Miller, and Sergio Leone, Bacurau, winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, is a vividly angry power-to-the-people fable like no other.
- Film Society at Lincoln Centre.