Zombi Child (2019) - News Poster

(2019)

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Cannes Review: ‘Zombi Child’ is a Slow-Creeping Horror Satire

Bertrand Bonello’s last film, the terrorism-themed thriller Nocturama, hit headlines as it was released in the wake of Islamic State terror attacks in France. Supposedly it was the reason the film didn’t debut in competition at Cannes that year and with the compelling Directors’ Fortnight premiere Zombi Child, the director has again swerved away from official selection. Where Nocturama pointed to a seething social tension that Bonello believed present in the undercurrent of contemporary France, this is a genre-blending horror satire on the country’s racial divisions that delves into the country’s post-colonial heritage and the myth of Haitian zombie legend.

We open in Haiti in 1962, at the death of Clairvius Narcisse (Mackenson Bijou), a man who comes back to life as a “zombi” (spelled without the ‘e’ to foreground the Haitian etymology), used as slave labor in the hell of the Caribbean nation’s sugar fields.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Between Day and Night: Bertrand Bonello Discusses "Zombi Child"

Premiering at the Directors' Fortnight, Bertrand Bonello’s Zombi Child is a film that jolts our expectations. A bit of a zombi film, a bit of an all-girls boarding school reverie, the film radically combines both through audacious cross-cutting and maintaining a silkily mysterious atmosphere of uncertain direction.Opening in 1962 Haiti, Clairvius (Mackenson Bijou) is cursed and partially killed through voodoo, buried not-quite-dead, and resurrected to toil as a mindless zombi in a sugar plantation. Regaining some sense of his life, Clairvius's shrouded vision catching flashes of color and images of his wife, and he escapes the plantation through the countryside. The story behind this saga is revealed much later, and in the meantime Bonello basks in sepulchral day-for-night shadows and the sorrow of human exploitation that extends beyond the grave. Cut into this is a story set in today’s France, with a white teen beauty, Fanny (Louise Labèque
See full article at MUBI »

'Kongo': Film Review | Cannes 2019

'Kongo': Film Review | Cannes 2019
From Jim Jarmusch’s opening night satire The Dead Don't Die to pure auteur-driven works like Zombi Child and Atlantics, zombies, sorcery and the supernatural have been all the rage at Cannes this year. So it’s perhaps fitting that the festival’s most offbeat sidebar, the Acid section, closed out with a movie about “real” witchcraft in the form of Hadrien La Vapeur and Corto Vaclav’s short but compelling Africa-set documentary, Kongo.

Shot in and around the Republic of the Congo capital of Brazzaville, the film follows the travails of the Apostle Medard, a member of the Ngunza church who ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Cannes Correspondences #5: Haitian Zombis, Insidious Plants, Takashi Miike

The Notebook is covering Cannes with an on-going correspondence between critic Leonardo Goi and editor Daniel Kasman.Zombi ChildDear Leo,Your last dispatch pinpointed works of social realist cinema here in Cannes, alongside a quintessential art-house picture. I have no bias for or against any of these idioms, each and all can be used to make a great film, but often at festivals I long for the smarts for entertainment that genre cinema can promise. Genre movies exemplify in the most vivid sense a truism of the art of the cinema, that it relies on the building blocks of cliches, the language and toolkit of conventions and archetypes. Because of this, to expect most movies to do something new or fresh in some ways feels antithetical to the art, founded as it is on iteration and variation on shared popular ideas. To surprise an audience within the confines of expectations
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Variety Celebrates 10 Producers to Watch in Cannes

  • Variety
Cannes–Variety honored its 10 Producers to Watch for 2019 at a brunch on Monday morning at Cannes’ Plage des Palmes.

Launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, the annual event fetes 10 producers from the U.S. and the international film community who share a common commitment to bold, original, provocative storytelling.

The films produced by this year’s honorees have premiered on the Croisette and made waves in Sundance and Berlin, tackling challenging themes while offering a platform for diverse cinematic voices. Collectively they represent a dynamic community that is going to “regenerate, rejuvenate, revitalize cinema moving forward,” said Variety’s executive VP of content Steven Gaydos.

Katriel Schory, who is stepping down from the Israel Film Fund, was also honored with Variety’s Creative Impact Award. Under Schory’s stewardship of the fund, more than 300 feature-length films were produced in Israel, while the domestic audience grew from 100,000 to 1.5 million admissions per year.
See full article at Variety »

‘Zombi Child’ Review: Bertrand Bonello Proves that the Past Is Undead — Cannes

‘Zombi Child’ Review: Bertrand Bonello Proves that the Past Is Undead — Cannes
There are any number of horror films about “voodoo” magic and its colonialist underpinnings — Jacques Tourneur’s 1943 “I Walked with a Zombie” remaining the most formative example — but only Bertrand Bonello’s take on the subject includes an oral presentation on the life and times of Rihanna. It would be foolish to expect anything else from the firebrand director behind “House of Pleasures” and “Nocturama,” whose films see history as less of a forward march than an uneasy churn; his work obfuscates clearly delineated temporalities in order to emphasize that while everyone may live in the present the past is never really dead.

As its title suggests, “Zombi Child” finds Bonello taking that idea to its logical and most literal conclusion. Not only does this time-hopping curio riff on the true-ish story of Clairvius Narcisse, a Haitian man who was said to have been turned into the walking dead, it
See full article at Indiewire »

'Zombi Child': Film Review | Cannes 2019

'Zombi Child': Film Review | Cannes 2019
Applying his meticulous aesthetic and enigmatic narration to a genre typically marked by lots of blood, guts and brain-munching mayhem, French auteur Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, Nocturama) takes a stab — or is that a chainsaw or a shotgun — at the zombie movie for his eight feature, which debuted at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes.

Entitled Zombi Child, with the z-word spelled in its original Creole, the film brings us back to the roots of a major contemporary pop culture phenomenon that actually has its origins in Haiti, where alleged cases of voodoo-induced zombiedom were documented during the last century. If ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

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