The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador, Mexico, 1962)

Dooming and dooming the rest of us

Doomed and dooming the rest of us

Luis Bunuel was good at excoriating the bourgeoisie; in The Exterminating Angel they are trapped at a dinner party for no apparent reason and their reason soon goes. The civil veneer of the the ruling classes is shown to be just that and beneath the surface most of them are scumbags (the doctor, however, is decent). Are the bourgeoisie these days the 1% who own 99% of the world’s wealth? Or do they include the ‘squeezed middle’ who politicians (including Labour!) seem so concerned about? Whoever they are they remain as self-centred as they have been since the rise of capitalism. The brutal behaviour of the guests in The Exterminating Angel is being meted out to the poor in Britain and elsewhere. Hopefully Syriza’s victory is the start of a left-wing revolution that will end the economic nonsense of ‘austerity’, the Tories announced today they are promising more if re-elected, that has devastated many people’s lives. Good on the Greeks, a third of whom live in poverty, for giving the ‘troika’ the finger.

As Marx suggested the bourgeoisie are doomed, the only question is whether they will destroy the rest of us. Climate change, fuelled by unsustainable economic growth, will finish us off given long enough. However, given the stupidity of neo liberals who, irrationally, still believe in the ‘free market’, it could be that civil dissent causes a meltdown before Gaia does.

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