Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Los Olividados

This still from Bunuel's mastercake Los Olividados is from one of the central scenes in the film. The two characters on either side of the youth in the middle will pay dearly for the murder that is about to be committed.

Set in the slums of Mexico City 1950, we encounter evil as poverty; evil as inescapable: there are no winners here, except Satan who loves to see tears shed unendingly. The lesson is that when poverty is allowed, love is negated and replaced by desperation for diversion from the terrible ennui that loveless-ness brings.

As ever with Bunuel(90% of all his films?), the narrative never flags; here it drives along as scene after scene is full of riches for the eye, the heart and the mind; bitter riches, for there is no comfort here but for the lucidity of understanding in a small, at-a-safe-distance way the ravages of poverty, the pervasion of evil. Let's not allow evil to dominate the lives of others and let it not touch our lives through crime...but as ever this sentiment is one generally dwelled on as diversion...


See Los Olividados at least, it raises questions that seek answers because the powerful images feel indelible and the exploration of the characters' motives rings true.

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