The Eclectic Cinema at Cheltenham Playhouse

BACURAU 18 (Brazil/France 2019)

Written and Directed by Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonca Filho

Starring Sonia Braga and Udo Kier

14 November 2022 MONDAY 19:30

WELCOME to the Weird West (yes, this is a recognised cinematic term), in which the genre of the western is blended with others, in this case Sci-Fi and Thriller. Bacurau is a fictional, small and isolated town in Brazil. Apparently set in the near future, the film opens with a gathering of the townsfolk for the funeral of Carmelita, matriarch of the community, who has died at the age of 94.

Soon after, there are strange, inexplicable events to add to the long-running problems with water supply and access routes: there are UFO sightings, the town disappears from satellite maps, and the water bowser is riddled with bullets.

Despite its isolation, the residents of Bacurau seem to enjoy a life of relative plenty, having established various community facilities separate from anything offered by the corrupt state – represented by the obnoxious Tony Junior, who rolls up early on to court Bacurau for its votes in an upcoming election. So far, so mysterious. The film settles down into its modern western genre upon the sudden appearance of Udo Kier as leader of a malevolent gang of misfit foreigners. The town, fiercely independent, and with a history of resistance, as documented in the local museum, ultimately proves more than a match for the interlopers in the film’s gripping and violent climax.

All tickets are £7.50

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