Luis Buñuel

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Gavin Lambert

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The disturbing, overwhelming final episode of Nazarin] is in the great tradition of Luis Buñuel, who once said that his aim in making films was to convince people that they don't live in the best of all possible worlds. (And, in parenthesis, that there's no sign of the world getting much better.) He has never dramatized this belief so powerfully, and with such immense sadness, as in the whole of Nazarin. (p. 30)

Nazarin loses Christ and finds man. Like Dostoevsky's Prince Muishkin, or his Alyosha ("I am a monk who doesn't believe in God"), he finds him among the derelict, the criminal, and the mad. By implication Buñuel is saying—as he has always said—that this is the way society drives the individual. In all of Buñuel's important work you can find this rich implacable hatred of society—church, conservative governments, bureaucracy, militarism, the bourgeoisie—displayed with a sometimes paranoiac fury. His protagonists seem to snatch...

(The entire section is 314 words.)