Bacurau 2019

Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles

Fierce politics and top-notch furious filmmaking collide to potent effect in this Cannes-lauded portrait of a near-future fight for survival in the remote reaches of northern Brazil.

Brazil In English and Portuguese with English subtitles
131 minutes CinemaScope / DCP
Graphic violence, sex scenes, offensive language & nudity


Emilie Lesclaux
Saïd Ben Saïd
Michel Merkt


Pedro Sotero


Eduardo Serrano

Production designer

Thales Junqueira

Costume designer

Rita Azevedo


Mateus Alves
Tomaz Alves Souza


Udo Kier (Michael)
Sonia Braga (Domingas)
Bárbara Colen (Teresa)
Karine Teles (Forasteira)
Chris Doubek (Willy)
Alli Willow (Kate)
Jonny Mars (Terry)
Antonio Saboia (Forasteiro)
Julia Marie Peterson (Julia)
Brian Townes (Joshua)


Cannes (In Competition)
Sydney 2019


Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2019


Do you like going blind into a film that consistently surprises you with shifting genres, bloody surprises and unexpected, audacious choices? Read no further and book yourself a ticket on this year’s most exhilarating cinematic rollercoaster.

Still need convincing? Brazilian Kleber Mendonça Filho is no stranger to festival audiences (Neighbouring Sounds, NZIFF12; Aquarius, NZIFF16). Having demonstrated an acute eye and ear for cinematic detail, and an appetite for channelling social outrage into blistering narrative form, Mendonça Filho’s latest (co-directed with longtime collaborator Juliano Dornelles) introduces us to a near-future world of water wars and rebellions led by a genderfluid revolutionary. Meanwhile, a scientist returns to her home village to commemorate the death of its matriarch, whose mourners include a hot-blooded doctor played by Brazilian legend Sonia Braga.

Whatever that sounds like, it’s not. The shifts and surprises in the patiently unfolding narrative – from a flying saucer to literally wiping a town off the (Google) map, and that’s not a tenth of it – left Cannes audiences applauding key plot turns. The fact that the town’s school is named after John Carpenter may give you a hint for what’s to come – touchstones might also include everything from Jodorowsky to Wake in Fright to The Most Dangerous Game – but Bacurau is as concerned with revolutionary history as delivering genre thrills. “Don’t you want to visit the museum?” will never sound like an anodyne question again, and the face of revolutionary Brazilian politics has never been so vivid or thrilling. — Doug Dillaman