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Bacurau (2019)

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Releases March 6, 2020
After the death of her grandmother, Teresa comes home to her matriarchal village in a near-future Brazil to find a succession of sinister events that mobilizes all of its residents.
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13 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bárbara Colen ... Teresa
Thomas Aquino ... Pacote / Acácio
Silvero Pereira Silvero Pereira ... Lunga
Thardelly Lima Thardelly Lima ... Tony Jr.
Rubens Santos Rubens Santos ... Erivaldo
Wilson Rabelo Wilson Rabelo ... Plinio
Carlos Francisco Carlos Francisco ... Damiano
Luciana Souza Luciana Souza ... Isa
Karine Teles ... Forasteira
Antonio Saboia ... Forasteiro
Sônia Braga ... Domingas (as Sonia Braga)
Udo Kier ... Michael
Buda Lira Buda Lira ... Claudio
Clebia Sousa Clebia Sousa ... Angela
Danny Barbosa Danny Barbosa ... Darlene
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Storyline

Set in the near future, the film follows Teresa (Bárbara Colen), who comes home to Bacurau, a fictional village in Brazil's semi-arid sertão, to attend her grandmother's funeral. Upon her arrival, Teresa immediately observes signs that Bacurau is in dire straits. Basic amenities are in short supply, mobile-phone coverage is fading, clean water supply is dammed and the truck that brings potable water arrives riddled with bullet holes. It soon becomes apparent that the corrupt government has forsaken the village completely: not only has Bacurau been literally erased from the map, but its citizens are under attack. As the responsible close in, the villagers must prepare an organized resistance to avoid greater damage.

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Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Brazil | France

Language:

Portuguese | English

Release Date:

6 March 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bacurau See more »

Filming Locations:

Sertão, Brazil See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,305,991
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Final)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (as Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of a school portrayed in the movie is "João Carpinteiro", which translates to "John Carpenter". Director Mendonça Filho is a fan of Carpenter's work and even included one of his tracks ("Night") in Bacurau's soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

Domingas: Brasol IV is a mood inhibitor presented as a powerful painkiller. It's a drug taken by millions of people all over Brazil. Don't ask me why, but suppository is the most popular form of administration. It's bad for you, addictive, and it dulls your wits.
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Connections

Featured in Conversa com Bial: Episode dated 4 July 2019 (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Night
Written by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel A. Davies
Performed by John Carpenter
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pays tribute to the courage of underdogs united against a common enemy
31 October 2019 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

You cannot find Bacurau on any map of Brazil. That is because the town is fictional. The problem is that the residents of this small community in the northeast corner of Brazil can no longer find their town on Google Maps, or any GPS system either. Other strange things soon begin happening in Bacurau, winner of the Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho, Bacurau bears more than a slight resemblance to current events in Brazil where a right-wing government has tied itself to authoritarian movements around the globe and has stacked the government with religious ideologues indifferent to protecting human rights and the environment.

Filho's socially-conscious films "Aquarius" and "Neighboring Sounds" had a similar theme of underdogs protesting against powerful interests, but are vastly different in style. Reminiscent of Robert Redford's "The Milagro Beanfield War" where residents of a small town in New Mexico come together to resist developers out to siphon off their water supply in order to build a golf course, the people living in the isolated community of Bacurau become idealistic defenders of their community under attack from mercenaries.

Ten years in the making, Bacurau is a western-style shoot-em-up that has plenty of blood and gore, (some unnecessary), elements of science fiction, psychotropic drug use, and a mythic struggle between outside forces and a community laboring to preserve their way of life. In the film, which we are told takes place "sometime in the near future," Teresa (Bárbara Colen, "Burning Night") returns home to Bacurau to attend the funeral of 94-year-old Carmelita (Lia de Itamaracá, "Blue Blood"), her grandmother and the town's matriarch and to bring much needed food, household goods, and medical supplies to the residents of her isolated community. She is also coming back to be with her boyfriend, "reformed" gangster Pacote (Thomas Aquino, "Futuro Beach") who is one of the key players in the narrative, though the star of the film is really the community itself.

The solemn funeral procession for Carmelita is upsetting to many people including Domingas (Sonia Braga, "Wonder"), the town doctor, who interrupts the proceeding by shouting about how evil Carmelita was but the mourners, who know her well, tolerate her behavior. When the sleazy mayor Tony Jr. (Thardelly Lima, "Divine Love") comes to town campaigning for reelection, he delivers books, food, and medical supplies. At first he gets the silent treatment, then shouts of "go home" and "turn on the water," a reference to his support of a private company that blocked the floodgates of a dam. A UFO drone appears in the sky with hardly anyone paying attention. Things become more serious, however, when gun shots are heard in the distance, although residents attribute them to Lunga (Silvero Pereira, "Copa 181"), a resident of Bacurau hiding from the authorities in an abandoned reservoir.

When the water truck that is forced to deliver water to the residents arrives filled with bullet holes and leaking water, cell phone signals are unavailable, and six residents of a local farm house are found murdered on their property, the community knows it is under attack. The forces behind these strange events manifest themselves when two motorcyclists, a man and a woman, curiously dressed in neon-colored spandex suits arrive in Bacurau. Emissaries of an English-speaking group of armed mercenaries, former military officers led by the aging, deranged Michael (Udo Kier, "Far Cry"); they are people killers, playing "a most dangerous game."

With the local Brazilian music of Caetano Veloso and Geraldo Vandré as well as John Carpenter's electronic "Night," operating as a catalyst in the background, the town unites in what becomes a life or death struggle to preserve their town against the American mercenaries. One of the most powerful scenes involves an elderly naked man being set upon by two gang members in his home until Filho suddenly subverts our expectations. Bacurau brings attention to serious issues such as corporate exploitation of the environment, social and economic isolation, deceitful politicians, and the phenomenon of random mass killings.

Unfortunately, it is also marred by cartoonish characters and simplistic, often gratuitous, violence that elicit cheers whenever the good guys bring down the bad guys, but which diverts our attention from examining the reasons why such conditions exist in the first place. While Bacurau is a crowd-pleasing and fiery film that pays tribute to the courage of underdogs united against a common enemy, sadly, it will take more than guns and pluck to solve Brazil's social and economic problems, now under siege from predatory interests.


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