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.
An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the ... See full summary »
A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.
When film comes to you, it has all sorts of possible stances. Whether its possible of as many nuances as the writer of text is up to you, but its surely of roughly the same nature in extent. And there's a similarity in the number of stations. No matter how you define a spectrum, say from teacher to codiscoverer, it cannot be a smooth line. For some hardwired reason, both we as the reader/viewer and the writer/filmmaker snap to only a small number of stations along those lines.
Being a lucid viewer means, I think, in part being aware where you have snapped to an a similar set of lines and where you suppose the narrative stance to be anchored. Clever writers can play with ambiguities, but even if they are not, clever viewers can play. We can play from our end.
But that means we have to explore all the stations, to reference each one by the others. Its one of my complaints against TeeVee: it has little narrative variety: its peanut butter for every meal.
And that's why you might find yourself watching this. You need some of the clear, unambiguous teacher mode, the business about being guided and explained to. Its remarkably hard to find these days, so you have to dip back into a time before the condescension repulse was strong.
Its ideal if you are seeing something the viewer is presumed to know nothing about, but you do.
So this, my friends will be a good adventure for you. By itself, its lame film-making; its flat out inaccurate factually. It has an overt racism in its perspective. Dietary conventions are presented as deviant. Religion is presented as devilworship. These people clearly need the sort of white educator we have for the period of watching.
Its offensive, sure. But that helps you see the snap to that location, and its something you can use in your own world tour.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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