The dead may have been walking among the living for decades without causing a stir. They move and they moan, their bodies work and their eyes see, but they do not feel. These people are real, and for greed or for honour, they have been zombified, forced to partially die before their time, and to continue a life that isn’t theirs. People are turned into slaves. In Zombi Child, director Bertrand Bonello dives into the crevices of Haitian history to spotlight these truths, transcending the limitations of fictional terror.
Offering more than colourful documentary or conspiratorial propaganda, the facts springboard Bonello’s own clever narrative. The filmmaker establishes the death and second life of Clairvius Narcisse (the Haitian man who made headlines in 1962) in parallel with the life of his teenage granddaughter Mélissa (Bonello’s fictional creation) as she tries to fit in at a strict French boarding school, which girls can only attend if their father, grandfather or great-grandfather has been awarded the Légion d’honneur.
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