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.
Directed by: Juliano Dornelles
, Kleber Mendonça Filho
. Starring: Sônia Braga
, Udo Kier
, Jonny Mars
, Chris Doubek
, Alli Willow
, Karine Teles
, Antonio Saboia
, Barbara Colen
, Thomas Aquino
, Brian Townes
, Julia Marie Peterson
, Silvero Pereira
, Clebia Sousa
. Music by: Mateus Alves
, Tomaz Alves Souza
As a brazilian, from southeast region and european-descendent, I can feel very rewarded and offended by this movie. Rewarded, because the uniqueness of brazilian cinema imagetic engine can be felt here, and shows no sign of exaustion: the characters are all very well-acted, even the secondary ones - they all feel so natural and relatable, you'll start caring for them all in a matter of minutes, the imagery, photography and sets are superbly unveiled - you'll feel inside the movie, the plot is well designed despite some inherent flaws that probably are signs that the director could have done a better job answering some questions the audience will raise unavoidably - the movie just doesn't give it all, and even worse - it ends with these questions unanswered.
Brazilian directors really believe in naturalism as a source of imagery, while not a central in this plot, is depicted in all its raw nature, as both a drive force of life and a commodity some people will purchase, and without the aseptic and romantic filters Hollywood movies deploy continuously. I was surprised by the amount of gore and gruesome - they are not typical brazilian fare, however they make their way into this movie's plot - but they work well along with it - they don't look gratuitous in any way and despite I am not very fan of gore, I truly see why it's there, and it is for a reason that foreigners might not get - that's about the story of resistence of small communities in northeastern Brazil agains oligarchs and even State-owned opressors - this resistence is one soaked in blood with a stream of detached heads indeed.
A typical issue of brazilian movies is bad sound recording and actors struggling with speaking clearly their lines - but not in this movie thankfully. This issue is correctly addressed here.
However, the movie has a fair share of flaws. It fails avoiding the use of cheap stereotypes - both local and foreigner - the only brazilian-southeastern characters in the movie, as well as the only foreigners - mostly north americans, are depicted in a so stereotypical way, the movie just doesn't give us more than the cheap stereotypes brazilian directors so frequently criticize about foreigner movies, specially from north american movies. A pity. It wasted a chance of showing more than prejudice and shallowness in this department.
I also believe the directors just didn't explore humor enough as a counterweight of all the tension. And I am sure its the directors fault, because the characters are lovely and can be outrageously funny if directed to be so, as it can be assured from the rare comic relief moments inserted in the final film. These rare moments work extremely well. They just aren't enough, or lacked exploration.
It tries to be a brazilian western of sorts as well, and it achieves this goal partially. Not well succeeded enough, but as an attempt it is sufficiently convincing to keep you in front of the screen until its finale.
As a southeastener brazilian I was very offended by the movies remarking us as local watchdogs of north-american imperialism. I do get their message, but I still think they could be less stereotypical, and extend its human-naturalism language to the outside characters as well, without any sacrifice to the plot. This is a missed opportunity of stablishing itself as an undisputed brazilian gem all over because the directors just didn't want to miss the opportunity of imposing a leftist narrative where oppressed people are not only deservedly depicted as alive, empowered and powerful. Their oppressors don't get a share of this dignity. So if it will be lucky enough to be nominated for an Oscar in 2020 (I think this is somehow likely but not to be taken as granted), this will be in the expense of some dose of maniqueism that betrays the movie's premise. A pity. But overall, as a good movie it is technically, all that is left to me is to wish good luck. You foreigner will probably enjoy this movie less than a regular brazilian but will feel rewarded as an expectator nevertheless, it is a good movie that is worth your time and money overall.
Review by vinicius_sasso from the Internet Movie Database.