Long Live Death (1971)
"Viva la muerte" (original title)

 |  Drama, War  |  12 May 1971 (France)
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At the end of the Spanish civil war, Fando, a boy of about ten, tries to make sense of war and his father's arrest. His mother is religious, sympathetic to the Fascists; his father is ... See full summary »


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Complete credited cast:
Anouk Ferjac ...
La Tante
Núria Espert ...
La Mère
Mahdi Chaouch ...
Ivan Henriques ...
Le Père
Jazia Klibi ...
Suzanne Comte ...
La Grand-mère
Jean-Louis Chassigneux ...
Le Grand-père
Mohamed Bellasoued ...
Víctor García ...
Fando - 20 ans


At the end of the Spanish civil war, Fando, a boy of about ten, tries to make sense of war and his father's arrest. His mother is religious, sympathetic to the Fascists; his father is accused of being a Red. Fando discovers that his mother may have aided in his father's arrest. Sometimes we witness Fando imagining explanations for what's going on; sometimes we see him at play, alone or with his friend Thérèse. Oedipal fantasies and a lad's natural curiosity about sex and death mix with his search for his mother's nature and his father's fate. Will Fando survive the search? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


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Release Date:

12 May 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Long Live Death  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Fando is up at the lighthouse and urinates on the city, a hose behind his legs is clearly visible at times. See more »


Referenced in Der Todesking: The Death King (1990) See more »


by Grethe Agatz
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User Reviews

Jodorowsky with anti-fascist tendencies
16 April 2007 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

"Viva la muerte" isn't as stunning as Jodorowsky's "El Topo" or "The Holy Mountain", but its still an interesting surrealist film and doesn't come across as being as pretentious as either of those two. What mainly makes it stand out from Jodorowsky is the political statement of the film. Like "Salo", it uses shock value to deliver a shattering message about the dangers of fascism. However, it isn't nearly as consistently disturbing as "Salo" (even though moments do come close) and or as boring either. "Viva la muerte" effectively delivers its political message with plenty of weirdness to please fans of surrealist cinema. Imagine if Salvador Dali made "Salo", and you're coming close.

The film itself features an innovative alternating between film and video (used to show the boy's nightmares). The direction by Fernando Arrabal surprisingly keeps everything at a quick pace, something not often associated with surrealist films. The short running time is a plus also, keeping this more consistent than many other films of this type. The only real negative aspect is the animal slaughter. I'm not a tree-hugger, but the killing of animals for a film when special effects could've sufficed is wrong. Like "Cannibal Holocaust", the inclusion of animal slaughter makes the film's message seem rather hypocritical and makes you angry at the filmmakers as opposed to the characters. Still, the only sequence where the animal killing becomes too much is the part with the cow, and outside of that minor complaint this is a mostly fascinating surrealist film. (7/10)

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