Movie Review – Zombi Child (2020)

Zombi Child. 2020. Directed by Bertrand Bonello. Starring Louise Labeque, Wislanda Louimat, Katiana Milfort, Mackenson Bijou, Adilé David, Ninon François, Mathilde Riu, Ginite Popote, and Néhémy Pierre-Dahomey. Synopsis: Haiti, 1962. A man is brought back from the dead to work in the hell of sugar cane plantations. 55 years later, a Haitian teenager tells her […]

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Zombi Child Exclusive Clip Follows Wislanda Louimat Evoking the Spirit of Death, Baron Samedi

  • ShockYa
Zombi Child Exclusive Clip Follows Wislanda Louimat Evoking the Spirit of Death, Baron Samedi
The cemeteries of France are being guarded by Lwas-the voodoo spirits that link God to humans-in the upcoming horror film, ‘Zombi Child.’ Actress Wislanda Louimat is insisting that Lwas are real, and coming to haunt people, in a new exclusive clip from the drama, which is titled ‘Baron Samedi,’ after the most dangerous spirit. ShockYa […]

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Precise construction by Anne-Katrin Titze

Zombi Child director Bertrand Bonello on what happened after Jacques Tourneur's I Walked With A Zombie: "And then the Zombi becomes something very different. Like in the trilogy by George Romero.” Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

In the second half of my conversation with Bertrand Bonello on Zombi Child, shot by Yves Cape (Leos Carax’s Holy Motors) featuring Mackenson Bijou, Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Katiana Wilfort, Adelé David, Ninon François, Mathilde Riu, and Patrick Boucheron, the director notes the change in the genre from Victor Halperin’s White Zombie to George A Romero’s trilogy in response to my comment about Jacques Tourneur's I Walked With A Zombie.

Bertrand Bonello on Zombi Child: “The construction is very precise.”

The director/screenwriter of Nocturama; Saint Laurent; House Of Tolerance (with Adèle Haenel and Jasmine Trinca); Ingrid Caven: Music And Voice; and Tiresia has included Brian De Palma’s Carrie; Richard Donner’s [film id=19857]The.
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Zombi Child Practices Voodoo in New York City this January 13th

Zombi Child is title from French director Bertrand Bonello. Bonello's film goes back to the zombie roots, in Haiti. Here, a man was raised from the dead, in 1962 Haiti. Now, a young girl is experimenting with the dark arts, leading to a strange transformation. A bit more arthouse than most zombie films, Zombi Child is getting set for a U.S. wide theatrical launch, across the United States. The premiere begins later this month. The film's early, theatrical release details are hosted here. The official synopsis mentions the initial zombie, Clairvius (Mackenson Bijou) and his ties to the land. Boarding school student Melissa (Wislanda Louimat) also has a dark connection to Clairvius. In the film, both characters are brought together once again through voodoo. The first city to host theatrical screenings, in the U.S., is New York City (Jan. 13th). This theatrical presentation will be followed by others, in: Los Angeles,
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The making of a hybrid by Anne-Katrin Titze

Zombi Child director Bertrand Bonello on Olivier Meyrou's Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé documentary Celebration: "It's beautiful. A beautiful film." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The last time I spoke with Bertrand Bonello, it was on Nocturama at the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema luncheon in 2017, hosted by uniFrance at Robert De Niro's Locanda Verde in Tribeca. The event was also attended by Django director Étienne Comar and Reda Kateb (who portrays Django Reinhardt), Film at Lincoln Center's Director of Programming Dennis Lim, along with numerous members of the French film delegation.

This time around, Bertrand and I met at the Hudson Hotel the morning before the New York Film Festival Us Premiere at Alice Tully Hall of his latest film, Zombi Child, with Mackenson Bijou, Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Katiana Wilfort, Adelé David, Ninon François, Mathilde Riu, and Patrick Boucheron. This is not Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die.
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Bertrand Bonello on ‘Zombi Child,’ the Positivity of Voodoo, Real-Life Zombies, and Contemporary Cultural Tensions

Photo by Dan Rodriguez

Bertrand Bonello returns to the New York Film Festival with Zombi Child, which follows Mélissa (Wislanda Louimat), granddaughter to Haiti’s most famous zombi, Clairvius Narcisse, and an immigrant to France whose parents died in the 2010 earthquake.

Mélissa’s friend Fanny (Louise Labeque) wants her to join a secret group of girls at the prestigious Légion d’honneur boarding school, but the cliquish group of privileged white girls (who exude a coven vibe) conflict with Mélissa’s cool, unconcerned appeal. Mélissa’s confidence comes from a conditioned sense of her grandfather’s oppression and enslavement by zombification. As Fanny is drawn deeper into the roots of Mélissa’s voodoo heritage, all hell breaks loose when she uses it for manipulative ends.

We sat down with Bonello at the 57th New York Film Festival to discuss meeting real-life zombies, the great lengths he went to respect the
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Mubi buys UK rights to Bertrand Bonello’s ‘Zombi Child’ (exclusive)

Film premiered in Cannes this year.

Streaming service and theatrical distributor Mubi has taken UK and Ireland rights to Zombi Child, Bertrand Bonello’s Haiti-set horror that premiered in Cannes this year.

Starring Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, and Katiana Milfort, the film explores the legacy of French colonialism in the Caribbean country Haiti.

The film recently had its North American premiere at Toronto and will have its UK debut at the upcoming BFI London Film Festival.

Mubi picked up the film from sales agent Playtime. The company said its release plans have not yet been worked out but it will be this year.
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Toronto Film Review: ‘Zombi Child’

  • Variety
Toronto Film Review: ‘Zombi Child’
Never one to shy away from audacious conceits, from a Moody Blues needle-drop in a late-19th century Parisian brothel in “House of Pleasures” to the sympathetic treatment of terrorist radicals in “Nocturama,” French director Bertrand Bonello returns with a brow-raising one in “Zombi Child,” a political horror film that bundles the sins of colonialism with those of mischievous boarding-school girls. Alternating between a fact-based case of zombieism in 1962 Haiti and a clique of privileged students in contemporary France, the film brings the legacy of Haitian suffering and hardship to the doorstep of a Legion of Honor school with ties to the Napoleonic age. Though Bonello eventually reveals a more concrete bridge between eras,

Though the story of Clairvius Narcisse is largely considered more legend than fact, he was a real Haitian man who supposedly turned into a zombie in 1962 and rematerialized in 1980 in perfectly normal health. The likely catalyst of his transformation was tetrodotoxin,
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Official Trailer for Bertrand Bonello's 'Zombi Child' Set in Haiti & Paris

"Can voodoo help me live?" Get a look at an official trailer for Zombi Child, the latest by French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello. It first premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival, and will play at the New York Film Festival. Bonello moves fluidly between 1962 Haiti, where a young man named Clairvius Narcisse (Mackenson Bijou), made into a zombie by his brother, ends up working as a slave in the sugar cane fields, and a girls' boarding school in Paris, where a white teen girl (Louise Labèque) befriends Clairvius' descendant (Wislanda Louimat), who was orphaned in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. These two disparate strands ultimately come together in a film that "evokes Jacques Tourneur more than George Romero, and feverishly dissolves boundaries of time and space as it questions colonialist mythmaking." Also with Katiana Milfort & Adilé David. See below. Here's the official festival trailer (+ poster) for Bertrand Bonello's
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Film Movement swoops on Tiff entries 'The Wild Goose Lake', 'Zombi Child' (exclusive)

Films screen on September 10 in Cwc, September 11 in Masters.

Us distributor Film Movement has picked up two films ahead of their anticipated North American premieres in Toronto – Diao Yinan’s gangland noir The Wild Goose Lake and Bertrand Bonello’s horror-fantasy Zombi Child.

The distributor plans to release both theatrically in 2020 followed by home entertainment and digital roll-out.

The Wild Goose Lake, Diao’s follow-up to his 2014 Berlin Golden Bear-winning noir Black Coal, Thin Ice, premiered in Competition in Cannes and screens in Contemporary World Cinema Section on September 10. Hu Ge and Gwei Lun Mei star in the story of
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Cannes Review: ‘Zombi Child’ is a Slow-Creeping Horror Satire

Bertrand Bonello’s last film, the terrorism-themed thriller Nocturama, hit headlines as it was released in the wake of Islamic State terror attacks in France. Supposedly it was the reason the film didn’t debut in competition at Cannes that year and with the compelling Directors’ Fortnight premiere Zombi Child, the director has again swerved away from official selection. Where Nocturama pointed to a seething social tension that Bonello believed present in the undercurrent of contemporary France, this is a genre-blending horror satire on the country’s racial divisions that delves into the country’s post-colonial heritage and the myth of Haitian zombie legend.

We open in Haiti in 1962, at the death of Clairvius Narcisse (Mackenson Bijou), a man who comes back to life as a “zombi” (spelled without the ‘e’ to foreground the Haitian etymology), used as slave labor in the hell of the Caribbean nation’s sugar fields.
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Between Day and Night: Bertrand Bonello Discusses "Zombi Child"

Premiering at the Directors' Fortnight, Bertrand Bonello’s Zombi Child is a film that jolts our expectations. A bit of a zombi film, a bit of an all-girls boarding school reverie, the film radically combines both through audacious cross-cutting and maintaining a silkily mysterious atmosphere of uncertain direction.Opening in 1962 Haiti, Clairvius (Mackenson Bijou) is cursed and partially killed through voodoo, buried not-quite-dead, and resurrected to toil as a mindless zombi in a sugar plantation. Regaining some sense of his life, Clairvius's shrouded vision catching flashes of color and images of his wife, and he escapes the plantation through the countryside. The story behind this saga is revealed much later, and in the meantime Bonello basks in sepulchral day-for-night shadows and the sorrow of human exploitation that extends beyond the grave. Cut into this is a story set in today’s France, with a white teen beauty, Fanny (Louise Labèque
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Cannes Correspondences #5: Haitian Zombis, Insidious Plants, Takashi Miike

The Notebook is covering Cannes with an on-going correspondence between critic Leonardo Goi and editor Daniel Kasman.Zombi ChildDear Leo,Your last dispatch pinpointed works of social realist cinema here in Cannes, alongside a quintessential art-house picture. I have no bias for or against any of these idioms, each and all can be used to make a great film, but often at festivals I long for the smarts for entertainment that genre cinema can promise. Genre movies exemplify in the most vivid sense a truism of the art of the cinema, that it relies on the building blocks of cliches, the language and toolkit of conventions and archetypes. Because of this, to expect most movies to do something new or fresh in some ways feels antithetical to the art, founded as it is on iteration and variation on shared popular ideas. To surprise an audience within the confines of expectations
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‘Zombi Child’ Review: Bertrand Bonello Proves that the Past Is Undead — Cannes

‘Zombi Child’ Review: Bertrand Bonello Proves that the Past Is Undead — Cannes
There are any number of horror films about “voodoo” magic and its colonialist underpinnings — Jacques Tourneur’s 1943 “I Walked with a Zombie” remaining the most formative example — but only Bertrand Bonello’s take on the subject includes an oral presentation on the life and times of Rihanna. It would be foolish to expect anything else from the firebrand director behind “House of Pleasures” and “Nocturama,” whose films see history as less of a forward march than an uneasy churn; his work obfuscates clearly delineated temporalities in order to emphasize that while everyone may live in the present the past is never really dead.

As its title suggests, “Zombi Child” finds Bonello taking that idea to its logical and most literal conclusion. 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
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Watch: A Seance Begins in First Clip from Bertrand Bonello’s ‘Zombi Child’

One of the best directors working today, Bertrand Bonello continually pushes boundaries in thrilling ways. Following his provocative terrorist thriller Nocturama, he’ll be paying homage to Jacques Tourneur with his next film, Zombi Child, premiering in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight tomorrow. Starting in 1962 in Haiti, it finds a man brought back to the dead, then 55 years later in Paris, we center on a boarding school, with a Haitian girl confesses dark, strange family secrets.

In preparation for shooting, Bonello says he didn’t immerse himself in zombie films, “but Roméro’s films were very much with me. Nevertheless, I did rewatch Jacques Tourneur’s superb I Walked with a Zombie, whose title is the film’s opening dialogue. I found inspiration in photography books, in novels, or anthropological publications, starting with one by a Swiss author, Alfred Métraux, Voodoo in Haiti, written in the 1950s, in which he gives a
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