Zombi Child

Year: 2019
Country: France
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Cast: Louise Labeque, Wislanda Louimat, Katiana Milfort
Genre: fantasy, horror, drama
Runtime: 103 min.
Age: 18+
Voodoo magic invades a private school for girls from good families. In this playful and ironic take on the horror genre director Bertrand Bonello reflects on teenage frustrations, radically different cultures, and the dark colonial past of France.

Haiti, 1962: Voodoo shamans called “bocors” turn peasants into zombies and force them to work on sugarcane plantations. Paris, 2019: Melissa becomes the first black girl to be enrolled in a private girls’ school. Aiming to impress her new friends, she tells them an eerie story of her ancestors, not realizing that it will push one of her classmates to a terrible act.

While exploring the origins of zombie myths, author of Saint Laurent, House of Tolerance and Nocturama,Bertrand Bonello, also addresses France’s grim colonial past and the not always safe interpenetration of cultures. How do ancient traditions reveal themselves in the age of globalism and mass culture? Can we escape from our heritage, be it a voodoo cult or a “colonizer’s complex”? Wishing to find answers to these questions, Bonello mixes a dismal story of 1960s’ Haiti with a chamber thriller about modern-day youngsters, leading to a highly unpredictable result.

The world premiere took place within the Directors’ Fortnight at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Awards & Festivals:

Cannes Film Festival – Queer Palm (Directors' Fortnight)