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When the young woman Tristana's mother dies, she is entrusted to the guardianship of the well-respected though old Don Lope. Don Lope is well-liked and well-known because of his honorable nature, despite his socialistic views about business and religion. But Don Lope's one weakness is women, and he falls for the innocent girl in his charge, seduces her, makes her his lover, though all the while explaining to her that she is as free as he. But when she acts on this freedom, Don Lope must deal with the consequences of his world-view. Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
A cinematic masterpiece, Bunuel's Tristana works on many layers, and can be enjoyed at face-value, as a dark romance, or as a scathing social criticism of pre/post World War II Spain. The latter interpretation is rather difficult to digest with just one viewing, but its allegories of Tristana and Don Lope as fascism and socialism present a richly disguised history of the Spanish Civil War and Spain's constant struggle between the socialist and the fascist. As is typical of Bunuel's work, his characteristic criticism of the Church as well as bourgeoisie lifestyles also presents itself in Tristana, however not as markedly as in such features as L'Age D'Or or The Discreet Charm.
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