FILM: ZOMBI CHILD

2019 / fantasy / 1h 43min / directed by Bertrand Bonello / country: France / language: French | Haitian | English

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“. . . Pleasurably moody and politically barbed riff on Haitian voodoo lore. . . . Suspended in an uneasy nether-realm between historical critique and “Carrie”-esque teen freakout, but with most of the gore and the jolts drained away, “Zombi Child” seeks to interrogate the bitter legacy of French colonialism, from its brutal applications in the past to its spiritual and psychological reverberations in the present.”
Justin Chang, The Los Angeles

“Not only does this time-hopping curio riff on the true-ish story of Clairvius Narcisse, a Haitian man who was said to have been turned into the walking dead, it also threads in a parallel narrative that follows Narcisse’s (fictional) granddaughter as she attends an elite — and predominantly white — boarding school in present-day Paris, where she and her only surviving relative have relocated after the earthquake that devastated their home island in 2010. . . . “Zombi Child” peels back centuries of racist stereotypes to rescue Voodoo from the stuff of black magic and portray it instead as a kind of communion — a communion between spirits, a communion between generations, and a communion between the dislocated joints of an empire.”
David Ehrlich, IndieWire

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