6.9/10
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Long Live Death (1971)

Viva la muerte (original title)
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 »

Director:

(as Arrabal)

Writers:

(by) (as Arrabal), (novel) (as Arrabal) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anouk Ferjac ...
La Tante
...
La Mère
Mahdi Chaouch ...
Fando
Ivan Henriques ...
Le Père
Jazia Klibi ...
Thérèse
Suzanne Comte ...
La Grand-mère
Jean-Louis Chassigneux ...
Le Grand-père
Mohamed Bellasoued ...
Colonel
Victor Garcia ...
Fando - 20 ans
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 May 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Long Live Death  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Siesta
Written by Raymond Le Sénéchal and Eddie Barclay (as Édouard Ruault)
Performed by Jean-Yves Bosseur Et Ses Amis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A disturbing hallucinatory masterpiece.
5 July 2005 | by (Bloomsburg PA) – See all my reviews

Fernando Arrabal is an author of books and plays. He was part of the panic movement of theater, which also included Alejandro Jodorowsky and Roland Topor. In fact, in the beginning of "Viva La Muerte" we see some morbidly surreal drawings by Topor. The film is semi-autobiographical and takes place during the Franco era in Spain during World War II. Fando witnesses his father seized by soldiers. Fando thinks that his father is dead. Later he finds out his father is still alive and that his mother turned him in to authorities for suspicion of communist activities. The film shows how war affects children. Fando has many grotesque, sadistic, surreal daydreams about his father being tortured by the fascist army. The daydream sequences are done in bright neon filters, with strange music and sound effects, even a children's song. The film makes a strong anti-war statement, and is filled with satirical and blasphemous imagery. Some of the images are extreme, including a real cow slaughter and Fando's mom torturing his dad. She even takes a dump on his head. The extended torture sequences may remind some of what the U.S has been doing to Iraqi prisoners. Although the film is brutal at times, it still is beautiful in its subversive poetry. "Viva la Muerte" is a masterpiece of surrealism and makes an important statement about the evils of war.


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