1001 Flicks

Regularly updated blog charting the most important films of the last 104 years.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

360. La Joven (The Young One) (1960)

Directed by Luis Buñuel


A girl, a gamekeeper and her grandfather live on an island. Her grandfather dies and the gamekeeper starts having illicit thoughts about the young girl. Meanwhile a black man escaping a lynching mob appears on the island and develops a friendship with the girl. He comes then into obvious conflict with the gamekeeper.


Buñuel has an immensely varied career from silent surrealism in Chien Andalou to Belle de Jour through films in English such as this one. Note that the official title is in Spanish but the film is actually filmed in English by American actors and fully spoken in that language.

Interesting as well when following Buñuel's career is to spot the constant themes pervading such a variety of films. Here you get trademark bugs, animals killing each other or being killed by man, the idea of Eros and Thanatos and as in Olvidados the inappropriate sexual feelings towards young children.

Buñuel manages to make the viewer participate in some kind of awkward voyeuristic experience by having some very "wrong" shots of the girl, this works extremely well in the context of the film. A film that ends up being about equality and the stupidity of prejudice, where the person accused of rape is the one who hasn't committed it and does not tolerate it, whereas all other characters to the exclusion of the girl seem to be more or less accepting of rape... except that acceptable rape is committed by a white man.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

La Joven is one of Buñuel's more serious films, dealing with racism and rape. Based on a story by Peter Matthiessen called Travelin' Man.

Beginning with a version of Sinnerman:


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