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Los Olvidados (1950) established Luis Bunuel's reputation as a world-class director.
Set in the slums of Mexico City, it follows the crime-filled and violent lives of group of juvenile delinquents.
The film exhibits some of Bunuel's recognisable themes of love's yearnings, social injustice, and surrealism, but with a layer of compassion that sets it apart from many of his other films.
In 2003, "Los Olvidados" was inducted into UNESCO's Memory of the World programme, which preserves documentary heritage of world significance.
Mark Polizzotti explores the historical context, aesthetic importance and biographical significance of the film, providing the first complete overview of "Los Olvidados" in English.
He also presents an introduction to the Mexican film industry and places Bunuel and his films within it.
While many critics have taken "Los Olvidados" as a film about urban poverty, Mark Polizzotti sees it as a much more personal and mysterious statement about yearning, loss, and the need for redemption.
By taking the notion of hunger as its structural principle, he explores the themes of love, betrayal, desire, and death that make the film such a powerful statement more than fifty years after its release.
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