7.6/10
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28 user 12 critic

Land Without Bread (1933)

Las Hurdes (original title)
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) »

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Documentary | Short

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Release Date:

December 1933 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

As Hurdes: Terra Sem Pão  »

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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

Referenced in In a Place of the Cinema (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Fourth Symphony
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

Europa 1932.
5 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

Bunuel had always been a visionary man,his cinema had never stopped trying from "un chien andalou" to "le fantôme de la liberté"."las Hurdes " was a documentary ,but it made the genre explode.And,to think it was seventy years ago!

Near the Portuguese border,there's a part of Spain where a doomed humanity used to live.The beginning of "las hurdes" deals with a feast in a village,last stop before the Hurdes country.

Then Bunuel begins his unthinkable depiction of this subhumanity:morons,maimed persons,monsters with twelve fingers,living in a filth you could not imagine.They drink in the brook/sewer!Springtime which everybody enjoys elsewhere is the worst season for the "Hurdes":all that remains for them to eat is cherries.But they cannot wait that they ripen,so they contract dysentery and they fall like flies.

And ,however,in a world that God seems to have completely forgotten,the children learn at school that the sum of the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees.And chiefly,they must respect the property of others(!). On the wall of the classroom,you can see a picture,showing an eighteen century marchioness!

Irony and surrealism are always here .After these horrors,out of the blue,Bunuel begins a lecture on the anopheles mosquito,complete with anatomical charts.

Banned by the Spanish government in 1933-1935,it took the Popular front(1936)to release what was the first social and political documentary.


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