Bacurau, Until 16 April 2020, from £1 - Book now
Note: with cinemas closed, some films have switched to online streaming releases. We remain focused on bringing you the best cinema in Manchester and the North, and for now that might mean watching at home.
Co-directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles channel the brutal elegance of John Carpenter’s (Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween) nuts-and-bolts genre offerings with Bacurau – a bloody gonzo siege movie set in rural Brazil. Filho is known for quieter, naturalistic work, such as 2016’s Aquarius, and while the synth-y opening titles of Bacurau hint at what is to come, it seems for a time that his latest film will proceed along similar lines.
The title refers to a dusty fictional town in the remote reaches of north-eastern Brazil. There’s a bar, a live radio DJ, a schoolroom and a museum filled with the armaments of previous unrest. There’s also a corrupt mayor, a water shortage and local militias to be negotiated. Things are further complicated by mysterious strangers visiting on dirt bikes and the appearance of flying saucer-style drones which appear without explanation.
The film erupts into the kind of satisfyingly full bore bloody horror-tinged western teased by its marketing
We know something’s up when Bacurau disappears from Google Maps, mobile signal drops and sudden road closures are implemented. A quiet, serious character-driven movie shifts into demented The Most Dangerous Game territory when it is revealed that a heavily-armed group of white tourists (mostly Americans) — headed by a German leader played by iconic Udo Kier – have camped up nearby.
The film erupts into the kind of satisfyingly full bore bloody horror-tinged western teased by its marketing, as the people of Bacurau are forced to defend their homes. Foreign forces invited to exploit and eradicate the nation’s poorest — the furious, and not-so-subtle, political parallels are clear to anybody with a passing knowledge of Brazil’s current right-wing leadership’s attitude to foreign nations and its own natural resources.
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