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Land Without Bread (1933)
"Las Hurdes" (original title)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 3,413 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 12 critic

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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(commentary), , 3 more credits »
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Title: Land Without Bread (1933)

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Cast

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

The region of Las Hurdes, not far from Salamanca, is largely cut off from the rest of the world. To reach Las Hurdes, it is necessary to travel through the town of La Alberca, which itself has some unusual sights and customs. The Hurdanos themselves live in several dozen villages in the nearby mountains, near a valley that contains the ruins of a convent. The lifestyle of the Hurdanos is so primitive that, until fairly recently, even bread was unknown to them. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1933 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

As Hurdes: Terra Sem Pão  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was banned from being shown in Spain by the Spanish government from 1933-1936. See more »

Connections

Featured in Regarding Buñuel (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Fourth Symphony
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

Unusual, Interesting, & Unsettling - As You Would Expect From Buñuel
17 December 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Luis Buñuel's approach to film-making was so unusual, and his intentions so hard to decipher, that you can never be quite sure what his movies were meant to convey. So it should probably not be too surprising that even when he makes a documentary it is still hard to tell exactly what he was doing. While this gives every initial appearance of being a straightforward documentary, it is not long before Buñuel's detailed yet surrealistic approach begins to show in subtle ways.

Whatever else may be true, it is an unusual film, and a generally interesting one. It is also unsettling - at times, very much so. It depicts a civilization that, though located in the midst of Spain just before the Franco era, could almost be from pre-historic times. Many of the images and much of the commentary are disturbing and uncomfortable to watch, to say the least. Yet the tone is far from emotional, and in fact it seems to be deliberately withdrawn, even unsympathetic, much of the time.

At the same time, it's easy to see why there are those who suggest that Buñuel was not filming a strictly objective documentary. While there are no outlandish or fantastical images, his distinctive style shows up in less obvious ways, through odd details and sequences. There also seem to be a number of different versions of the narration, which do not always cast events in the same light. So, as so often tends to be the cast with Buñuel, all that you can do is to watch it for yourself and then make your best guess as to what it all means.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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