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THE MILKY WAY

France / Italy, 1968 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Luis Buñuel

Buneul continues his confrontation with Catholicism, concerning himself in this film primarily with issues of doctrine and questions of heresy. The surface tone of the film is comic, but below that, there lies an urgent desire to come to terms with Catholic theology. On their pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostella, two tramps encounter a mysterious traveller whose prophecy that a prostitute will bear their children, is later seen to be an accurate one. They continue on their way, and their journey becomes a series of incidents which highlight both the life of Christ and the claims of heretics who assert refutations of Catholic doctrine. A sixteenth century priest, arguing for his faith, turns out to be an escaped mental patient; a shepherd, speaking Latin, introduces us to a fourth century erotic ritual; visions of children reciting the catechism become images of anarchists executing the Pope; a Jansenist and a Jesuit, indulging in a verbal duel, recite their beliefs taken verbatim from seventeenth century texts; two students, responding to a Bishop's outlining of the doctrine of the Trinity, shout heresies. And so, moving through time, we explore Transubstantiation, the Immaculate Conception. Christ as both God and Man, The Trinity, the Origins of Evil, and Free Will.

See also...

VIRIDIANA

The 1961 Cannes Festival Jury decided to award the Grand Prix jointly to Henri Colpi's Une Aussi Longue Absence and Bunuel's Viridiana. Thus the festival ended in a blaze of controversy, with this ... More »

THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE

Luis Bunuel's new film takes the story-line of a French nineteenth century novel by Pierre Louys. The story has been filmed before in 1929 by Jacques de Baroncelh. It was filmed again by Josef von ... More »

NAZARIN

Luis Bunuel's film is a kind of summary of his style and his ideas. It is a truly great film. John Huston called it a masterpiece on the level of Bicycle Thieves, Bardem declares that its final scene ... More »

THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL

In the best surrealist tradition, the opening credit of The Exterminating Angel warns that "from the standpoint of pure reason there is no explanation" for Buñuel's brilliant, disconcertingly ... More »

TRISTANA

Spain in the I920's - decaying morally and socially. A world filled by norms and relationships that have outlived their time and assumed dangerously reactionary proportions, form the background to ... More »

LOS OLVIDADOS

Los Olvidados (meaning the forgotten ones) was made in Mexico City slums with mostly non¬professional young actors whose talents lie in their simplicity, their obedience to brilliant direction ... More »

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