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Bacurau

(Brazil): Teresa returns to her hometown for the funeral of her grandmother Carmelita. After Carmelita’s death, strange things begin to happen: The town of Bacurau disappears off the map; cell phone service suddenly vanishes; the water truck returns to town with a number of bullet holes; and a flying saucer hovers overhead. During the first hour, we get introduced to the town and its inhabitants and a slimy major from the next town over who is running for reelection. For the second half of the film, everything goes south. This film is wonderful but very strange. There are similarities to Parasite in its sometimes-humorous examination of the differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. Parts of the film reminded me of the Bogdanovich film “Targets” from 1968. The film defies genre, and much like a good Tarantino film, the directors explore different genres: Sometimes it has the look, sound, and feel of a spaghetti western; at other times, it is a horror film. The editing has a retro feel to it, with the fade-ins to new scenes that harken back to films from an earlier era. All of the pieces work to create a fascinating and chilling social commentary that is not always easy to watch. Big thumbs up from me for a really creative and unusual film that provides some laughs as well as intellectual entertainment. (2019; 4 Stars)

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