In Cannes, a gory Western stands against Bolsonaro's Brazil
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In Cannes, a gory Western stands against Bolsonaro's Brazil

Demonstrators protest against a massive cut in the education budget imposed by the administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Federal education officials this month announced budget cuts of $1.85 billion for public education, part of a wider government effort to slash spending. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

CANNES, France — Kleber Mendonca Filho’s feverish and violent Brazilian Western “Bacurau” has given the Cannes Film Festival its most searing political statement yet.

The film is a surreal and bloody parable but its makers say it reflects Jai Bolsonaro’s Brazil. The far-right populist was elected president of Brazil last October.

Filho says that right now, Brazil feels “like a dystopia in many, many everyday aspects.”

While “Bacurau” was premiering Wednesday night in Cannes, tens of thousands of students and teachers protested in Brazilian streets over steep budget cuts to education that Bolsonaro has announced. The filmmakers said they stood in solidarity with those protesters.

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

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