Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles, Thardelly LimaStarring: Bárbara Colen, Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Thomás Aquino
This genre-juggling Brazilian curio begins with a young woman Teresa (Colen) returning home for the funeral of her grandmother, the matriarch of the titular town which seems to be populated exclusively by misfits and eccentrics. There Teresa discovers that, worryingly, the village has been removed from any record, not even showing up on Google Earth. The water supply has been dammed up by the corrupt mayor Tony Jr. (Lima), and rich visitors from the north have started to appear, looking to sell the town and its contents off to the highest North American and European bidders – the latter represented by Udo Kier in his second appearance this month as a steely-eyed, psychotic euro-nutter. The appearance of UFO-style drones buzzing the town heralds something far more disturbing. This is a bizarre combination of ethnographic depiction of small-town life, exploitation thriller and bonkers critique of corruption and first world decadence, rendered as a cross between Jodorowsky-style arthouse surrealism and spaghetti Western, replete with crash zooms and vivid bloodletting. The pace is a little too languid and the plotting too oblique to really work as a thriller but it’s a bold and intriguing effort nonetheless.