A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Abel Jacquin ...
(voice)
Alexandre O'Neill ...
(voice)
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Storyline

In this documentary short by director Luis Buñuel he travels to Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain which was connected to the outside world only in 1922 with the completion of a road. The residents of the area - spread across several villages - lives in poverty and in isolation from the outside world. They survive mostly on a diet of potatoes and beans with meat available only a few days a week. In fact, they eat goat meat only when one of the animals dies. Inbreeding results in a disproportionately large number of people with mental disabilities. The title refers to the fact that the residents did not know how to make bread. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

spain | food | village | river | beehive | See All (52) »

Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Details

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Release Date:

December 1933 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

As Hurdes: Terra Sem Pão  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film directed solely by Luis Buñuel until Gran Casino (1947), with the exception of compilation films he made while working at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, such as El Vaticano de Pio XII (1940). See more »

Connections

Featured in Regarding Buñuel (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Fourth Symphony
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

Amazing documentary.

This is a fascinating documentary from Luis Bunuel about a little known people called the Hurdanos, who live primitive miserable lives in a remote region of Spain. Its hard to imagine that even in the early 20th century when this film was made, there were still people living in "civilized" Europe under the conditions shown in this film. Only a few years before this film was made did these people know of bread. They have only rudimentary farming skills. The narrator states that at no time did the film crew hear anyone sing or play music, so perhaps music is unknown to them. Malnutrition, pestilence, genetic disorders from inbreeding, and lack of proper hygiene plague these poor wretched people. This film shows them dying off in such high numbers, that one has wonder why these people didn't all die off or migrate to more hospitable terrain long ago.

Like so many other documentaries, some scenes were obviously staged for the camera, like the now notorious donkey falling off a cliff. We see the donkey falling in several different shots taken from different angles, which makes it unlikely the cameramen just happened to be there when the donkey fell.

Some people claim this film is an attack on Franco, but Franco didn't come to power until 1936. Actually I don't think this film was trying attack anyone. It merely does what I think its makers set out to do; try to capture the lives of a people who are very different from the rest of us.


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