Los olvidados (The Forgotten Ones, Mexico, 1950)

Feral kids

Feral kids

This is a fascinating film as it’s obviously heavily influenced by neo realism however it was made by a renown surrealist, Luis Bunuel. How to square the two, apparently, disparate forms? Like his (neo realist) Italian counterparts, Bunuel shoots on location ,however he uses professional actors. Also, similarly, we are offered a ‘slice of life’ that we are invited to generalise as typical. Bunuel’s politics, like most of those who pursued neo realism, were left wing; the thrust of the movement was to show how the conditions of working people were so bad that they were forced into criminal behaviour.

Los olvidados focuses on street children in Mexico City, however, as the prologue points out, these children exist in all big cities and can’t be ignored as a feature of the Third World. As City of God (Brazil, 2002) showed, the situation is worse in some cases now. The final image of the film is amongst the most devastating committed to celluloid and it’s a shame this film is so difficult – in the UK at least – to see.

As for the surrealism, Bunuel contents himself with a terrifying dream sequence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: