After the death of her grandmother, Carmelita, Teresa returns to her birthplace, the village of Bacurau. Located in dry, remote north-east Brazil, its residents form a close-knit and colorful community. They are shocked to find out that their village has suddenly disappeared from all known navigational systems and that their telephone lines no longer work.
The startling discovery turns out to be a prelude to a series of strange occurrences, meant to keep the village under the radar. The villagers try their utmost to defend their home, even if it’s unclear who or what exactly is threatening them. Bacurau is an extraordinary mix of western, horror and low-budget sience fiction, set in the near future.
At the same time, the film, directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles, can be seen as a socially engaged drama. Mendonca Filho incurred the wrath of conservative Brazil with his previous films and he continues to do so with Bacurau – although production was started over ten years ago, the film’s criticism is mercilessly relevant to the country’s current state of affairs.
Bacurau premiered in the Netherlands at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival. The world premiere was in 2019 at Cannes, where the film took home the Jury Prize. It stars Bárbara Colen (Aquarius), Thomas Aquino and Silvero Pereira. Notably, German cult star Udo Kier has a role in the film, as well as Brazilian star Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman) as the outspoken and alcoholic village doctor.