Luis Buñuel’s iconic and internationally acclaimed film “Viridiana”, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, the first of four films to be presented to invited guests, was compelling. It demonstrated that what would now be considered a shoe string budget can produce an excellent film. Congratulations to the Ambassadors of Mexico and Spain H.E. Gerardo Lozano and H.E. Celsa Nuño for the collaboration.
The movie questioned faith versus fate, with strong religious undertones and overtones adding complexity and tension to Viridiana’s story. The story of an orphaned young girl who grew up in the convent, neglected by her only living relative her rich uncle and who at the point where she is ready to take her vows, is forced by the Holy Mother superior to visit with her uncle before taking the pledge. Her uncle finds that she reminds him of his deceased wife, and drugs her, in an attempt to keep her in his unhappy home. Viridiana insists on leaving and on her way to the train station the uncle hangs himself in shame.
The police bring Viridiana back to the house, where she decides to stay and provide a safe haven for the lame, blind, and diseased. But after extending the milk of human kindness, two of the sufferers that she has rescued plan an attack and one succeeds in raping her.
A heartbroken Viridiana decides to try the other way. The movie asks many questions of us. Some we can never answer.
The Embassies of Mexico and Spain have partnered to present, in collaboration with the Spanish Club of the University of the West Indies, Mona, a series of four films in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the passing of renowned Spanish/Mexican Film Director Luis Buñuel. This joint initiative comes at a time when both Embassies, Spain and Mexico, recently celebrated their National Days, and responds to their desire to bring to audiences in Jamaica the work of this cultural icon, inspired in and shared by both countries.
The Embassies of Spain and Mexico, as well as the UWI Spanish Club, invite Jamaicans to attend these screenings, offered free of charge, as they represent a unique opportunity to view some of the most emblematic films of Buñuel, regarded as the 14th best film director of all times.
Other films which will be shown as part of this series are “El Gran Calavera”, “El Ángel Exterminador”, and “Subida al Cielo”, on October 24 and 31, and November 14, respectively, at 2:00 pm, in Room 03, of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI Mona.