The region of Las Hurdes, not far from Salamanca, is largely cut off from the rest of the world. To reach Las Hurdes, it is necessary to travel through the town of La Alberca, which itself has some unusual sights and customs. The Hurdanos themselves live in several dozen villages in the nearby mountains, near a valley that contains the ruins of a convent. The lifestyle of the Hurdanos is so primitive that, until fairly recently, even bread was unknown to them. —IMDb
Although regarded as the greatest artist of Spanish cinema Luis Buñuel only made three films that are Spanish by nationality. His exile from his homeland at the end of the Spanish Civil War resulted in extended periods in Mexico and France. Despite this displacement, Spain was never far from Buñuel’s mind. The peasant culture of the villages of Calanda and Zaragoza, many of them dating to the Middle-Ages, greatly influenced his imagination during his childhood. The Spanish literary tradition, represented by Lope de Vega, Cervantes and the writers of picaresque stories, remained constant touchstones. Strongest of all was the distinctly Spanish nature of his Catholicism; he would retain its influence long after he renounced the teachings of the Church. At the University of Madrid his friendship with poet Federico Garcia Lorca and painter Salvador Dalí would play a major role in the avant-garde of the 1920s. It was during this period that he discovered the works of Sigmund Freud. His insight… read more
Even disguised as a documentary, Buñuel's influence is clearly discernible. The jabs at religion and the government are no strangers to Buñuel's films. Everything (music, narration, mood, and even subject matter) is presented in the most serious way one can a documentary, and yet becomes absurd often without losing any of the solemnity.