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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.
Filmmakers (and brothers) Albert and David Maysles follow four employees of a company that makes expensive, ornate, illustrated bibles as they attempt to sell the items door-to-door to less-than-interested customers, who are mainly poor or lower-middle-class Catholics with little money to spend on pretty Bibles. Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
Moving Tribute to Door to Door Salesmen from the Past
This interesting documentary is like a time capsule. Bringing to life the late 1960's, in a sometimes unsettling manner. It tells the story of a group of door to door Irish/American salesmen, selling Bibles in Boston and Florida. It is fascinating to watch the actual sales pitch, the manners and way we were at that time. (Smoking was certainly the order of the day) The growing desperation of one of the older salesmen as his sales figures slump, is quite as moving as in the play "Death of a Salesman". Anyone who has ever been involved is selling direct to the public should make this compulsive viewing. The documentary technique is also exceptional. There is not a word of commentary, introduction, or the usual "talking head" interviews that slow so many of todays TV documentaries. The characters themselves, and clever editing clearly tell the story and create the a raw drama. Camera work is remarkable for the time too, the subjects never seem to be aware of the filming process, unlike much Reality TV. This is a true American Tragedy, reflecting the loneliness of old time salesmen, and indeed that of many people with whom they deal. It is a credit to the Maysles.
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