Inheritors of the black legend: Francisco Goya and Luis Bunuel (Mexico, Spain)
Brown, Jerome Albert
Master of Arts
Filmmaker Luis Bunuel occupies a unique position in the history of cinema: not only is Bunuel considered the definitive filmmaker associated with a major art movement--Surrealism--but he is also considered the embodiment of two national cinemas, those of Mexico and Spain. Bunuelian Surrealism actually derives from the atavistic medievalism of Spain, unique in Western Europe with its history of oppression, intolerance, persecution and specularized violence. It is a surrealism rooted in a profound sense of moral outrage, closer in spirit to the dark vision of his Aragonese predecessor, painter Francisco Goya, than to Andre Breton's Parisian inner circle. Consistent with their keen intelligence and true to their Spanishness, these Aragonese masters transcend cultural specificity with a message of universal applicability, In a resounding condemnation of mankind's victimization by the agents of sociopolitical control, they reveal the gaping abyss separating cultural cliche from the reality of human suffering.