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(Review originally written at 21 July 2008)

Luis Buñuel was the father off early surrealism and he movies were often really dream-like but "Las Hurdes" is really not and actually quite tame for a Buñuel movie. At least at first sight it looks like that. It actually is a quite sharp movie, that makes some valid strong points.

Nothing surrealistic about this 'documentary' really. He only just alternates some of the truths, in order to get the point across. But oh well, not even "Nanook of the North" was an 100% real documentary. "Las Hurdes" might very well be making fun of other documentaries of its time with an often sarcastic undertone with its images and narration, that is too hard to believe at times to consider this movie a serious one. It's also a criticizing movie and therefor also got banned by the Spanish government at the time of its release.

But it above all things is a great movie to look at, due to its fine camera work and nimble editing, though this also lets some things look like they obviously got staged. It's about a small isolated Spanish community, who live unattached from 'modern' society, with their own customs and needs.

Provoking work from Luis Buñuel, though just not as surrealistic as you would expect from a Buñuel movie.

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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