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aka - Young And The Damned, The
Mexico 1950
Directed by
Luis Bunuel
86 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Olvidados, Los

Buñuel’s film about children in Mexico City’s slums resumes the social conscience concerns of Las Hurdes (Land Without Bread) from some two decades earlier, prior to his self-imposed exile from sapin. Unlike the earlier film this is is a dramatisation rather than a straight out documentary but as the opening sequence makes evident it is very much intended to expose an endemic problem of capitalist society and the lot of its under-class

The story is built around of two young males, Pedro (Alfonso Méjia), the offspring of a rape, spurned by his mother but essentially good-natured, the older, vilent and cowardly El Jaibo (Roberto Cobo) who has recently escaped from juvenile prison. The film is essentially a didactic illustration of the corruption engendered by the capitalism system in which inevitably selfishness will destroy goodness. Using untrained actors and with evidently limited resources, technically Los Olvidadas is quite a rough affair but it is a passionately heartfelt film and the final scene that encapsulates Buñuel’s theme is devastating.

The film won Buñuel the Best Director prize at Cannes in 1951 and returned him to international view. Although his critical spirit remaining undimmed from here on in his career, satire rather than social realism would become his weapon of choice.




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