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Los Olvidados

Luis Buñuel’s searingly powerful account of the brutalised lives of delinquent Mexico City street kids fuses stark realism with surrealist flourishes, and re-established his international reputation.

Dir Luis Buñuel
Prod Óscar Dancigers, Sergio Kogan, Jaime Menasce
Scr Luis Alcoriza, Luis Buñuel
With Alfonso Mejía, Stella Inda, Miguel Inclán
Mexico
1950
81min
Prod Co Ultramar Films
With English subtitles

Twenty years after his scandalous surrealist masterpieces, Buñuel again outraged with this lacerating portrait of Mexico City’s street kids. Drawing from first-hand accounts, Buñuel follows swaggering hoodlum Jaibo, who escapes from juvenile detention and enlists the wide-eyed Pedro to help find the grass who put him there. Shot quickly on a shoestring, the results hark to the neorealist films of the day, but Buñuel has no time for their occasional sentimentality – the poor here are not ennobled by poverty, but predatory, robbing even the crippled and blind, and driven like anyone else by their animalistic urges. With its monochrome photography by the great Gabriel Figueroa now restored to its luminous glory, Buñuel’s ‘social-surrealist’ landmark is a primal howl of a film – once seen, never forgotten.

James Bell

Additional information

Restored by the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at L’Immagine Ritrovata in collaboration with Fundación Televisa, Televisa, Cineteca Nacional México, and Filmoteca de la UNAM. Restoration funding provided by The Material World Foundation. Copyright to Televisa S.A. de C.V.

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