Review: Bacurau (Nighthawk)

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Brazil is a village called Bacurau. It’s cut off from the world. They have to truck in water and supplies. But the people live their everyday lives pretty normally. Then strange things start to happen. The town disappears from maps. Their cell signal is gone. Their water supply truck arrives with bullet holes in it. And then a couple on motorcycles appear. Turns out they’re part of a gang of blood-thirsty tourists who aim to use the town for target practice. They chose the wrong town.

Kleber Mendonça Filho (Neighbouring Sounds, Aquarius) and Juliano Dornelles co-directed this strange dystopian class struggle Western – think The Magnificent Seven meets Parasite. (Director Bong Joon-ho is a big fan of the film.) It opens with “A few years from now…,” so you know anything is possible. The pacing at the beginning is languid as you get to know the eclectic characters in the small, dusty town. And just as you’re settling into the rhythm of the place, everything changes. You know from early in the film that there’s an outlaw named Lunga that everyone admires, and he comes into play in the second half. The gang of gringos is more of a mystery. But the less said the better.

This Award winning film is a great one to watch from the comfort of your couch while we social distance. It’s the first film from distributor Kino Lorber’s new Kino Marquee, a virtual theatrical exhibition initiative to enable art house cinemas to serve moviegoers and generate revenue during the coronavirus outbreak. Check with your favorite local ones to see if they’ve signed on. Invitations were sent to all sixty theaters across the country who had already committed to book Bacurau.

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