94-year-old matriarch Carmelita passes away in a small village in the sertão, the arid area in the north-east of Brazil. Almost at the same time, the residents find out that their home has been erased from all digital maps. This turns out to be the harbinger of an invasion by a group of trigger-happy Westerners.
Directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ furious genre mash-up was inspired by low-budget science fiction, classic Westerns and John Carpenter’s horror movies. The title can be translated literally as ‘night owl’, but in Brazil this also refers to the last night bus – to the party being over. Mendonça Filho had already attracted the wrath of conservative Brazil with his previous films Neighbouring Sounds (Tiger Competition IFFR 2012) and Aquarius. In his latest, he and Dornelles add more fuel to the fire. Although they started developing Bacurau almost 10 years ago, the film has gained even more edge in the light of current developments.
Also see Masterclass: Eduardo Serrano.