Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, 2019)
In the introduction to her interview with directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles in our March-April 2020 issue, Ela Bittencourt writes, “In Bacurau, a remote, isolated town is attacked by a small group of armed, drone-assisted outsiders. The sertão, or backcountry, where the action unfolds, has often featured in Brazil’s popular culture and arts as a forbidding, uncharted, and parched territory. It is the country’s Wild West—a vast landscape marked by violent conquest and the resistance of the indigenous people and the black quilombos (communities historically created by runaway slaves) . . . Bacurau—like the American westerns of Ford and Hawks—brims with moral complexities because of its embrace of genre, not in spite of it. To see its protagonists exalted in widescreen—a sweeping canvas of diverse faces, bodies, skin colors, and textures—is to feel the innate strength but also the inherent contradictions of the backcountry.”
In keeping with the film’s radical approach to genre, our Bacurau playlist weaves together music from different sources: the film itself; the sertão region where the movie takes place; and the horror, western, and action films that Mendonça Filho and Dornelles have cited as touchstones.
Also, don’t miss our interview with the directors from the 57th New York Film Festival on The Film Comment Podcast.
Log in to Spotify to stream the full playlist.
Clinton Krute is Film Comment’s digital editor.