Bacurau is the confluence of films like Mad Max & Hard Target directed by Sergio Leone while still having a social message. It’s a little outside the box for the team of Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles but its end results are simply glorious.
A few years from now… Bacurau, a small town in the Brazilian sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita, who lived to be 94. Days later, its inhabitants notice that their community has vanished from most maps and a UFO style drone is flying overhead with some mysterious strangers who want to force them from their homes.
These are not the filmmakers that you’d expect a pre-dystopian western from; but that’s exactly why this all works so well.
Grindhouse and Art-House don’t typically blend so well but the team of Filho and Dornelles kept it at a perfect balance as it’s still a heartfelt and earnest story about the denizens of Brazil and the difficulties surrounding day to day life but it also allows for a little dirt under the nails. In a style that is reminiscent of Sergio Leone, the story and the action all has a very rough feel too it, but it maintains a genuine cinematic scope.
With scene stealing performances from Udo Kier and Sonia Braga, everything about Bacurau suggests that it just shouldn’t work as well as it does as this genre hybrid parable about the influence of government on people looms large while still being entertaining as hell.