Putting Bacurau on the Map: An Interview with Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles

The rural Brazilian siege film Bacurau feels like an essential transmission trying to wrangle some sense out of a country’s chaos and despair. It is a directorial collaboration between Kleber Mendonça Filho, following up his wonderful Aquarius (2016), and his long-time production designer, Juliano Dornelles, who together have created an experience that is a constant, mutating surprise. Despite an introductory scene of young female doctor returning to her village to deliver supplies that quickly sketches a region in Brazil “a few years from now” whose water supply has been cut off, whose roads are inoperable, where a local bandit seems to be at large, and where the government presence is limited to a shilling mayor hated by the population, the exact situation in Bacurau or indeed in Brazil is cryptic and suggestive. Clearly it is analogous to now, although in what specific way it is hard to say. But its
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