Haiti, 1962. Clairvius Narcisse dies suddenly, is buried immediately and comes back to life. Caught in a limbo between life and death, Narcisse works as a slave on a sugar plantation, a degraded man without freedom or consciousness. Narcisse’s fate as told in this parallel narrative is said to be based on a true story. Anthropologist Wade Davis described this case in The Serpent and the Rainbow (1985), the book on which Wes Craven based his zombie film of the same title.

In Zombi Child, director Bertrand Bonello also returns to the folklore and colonial roots of zombie mythology, interweaving these with a contemporary story about Haitian teenager Mélissa. At boarding school in Paris, her traumatic past contrasts starkly with the mundane concerns of the privileged girls claiming to be dying of a broken heart. Expect an ambitious, original zombie film that carefully balances historical and cultural themes, with hypnotic images by cameraman Yves Cape (Holy Motors) and a captivating synth soundtrack by Bonello himself.

Filmmaker
Bertrand Bonello
Country
France
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
103’
Language
French
Producer
Bertrand Bonello, Judith Lou Lévy, Ève Robin
Production Company
My New Picture, Les Films du Bal
Sales
Playtime
Writer
Bertrand Bonello
Cinematography
Yves Cape
Editor
Anita Roth
Production Design
Katia Wyszkop
Sound Design
Nicolas Cantin
Music
Bertrand Bonello
Cast
Louise Labeque, Wislanda Louimat, Mackenson Bijou, Katiana Milfort, Adilé David, Ninon François, Mathilde Riu