When Bacurau (dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, 2019) was released in Brazil, it was mainly received as a left-wing critique of the rise of the far right in the country’s political landscape. But some critics argued that the feature’s insistence on graphic violence was actually a celebration of barbarism, equating the oppressed villagers to their genocidal oppressors. This article refutes this view, borrowing from the analysis of science-fiction revenge fantasies and also following Foucault’s genealogical perspective. It argues that Bacurau actually reenacts Brazil’s foundational colonial violence through its complex temporality, in order to rediscover the forgotten past of real struggles that remain surreptitiously inserted in all levels of society, perhaps in the hope that new ways of resistance may flourish from its spectatorial experience.

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