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The Exterminating Angel

Reviewed by Véronique Schlumberger from France

Véronique Schlumberger
Staff Photo
Luis Buñuel stigmatizes in a surrealist manner this strange force which paralyzes people in a kind of apathy in certain circumstances.

 

 

Director: Luis Buñuel

Type: drama/comedy

Country/Date: Mexico/1962 (black and white)

A party is organized in a high class society house. Many smart people are drinking and eating. It's getting late, but nobody is leaving. Even though the door is open, people seem to be locked in the house. They can't leave either the day after or on the following days. Outside, an acquaintance, who realizes that these people can't move, organizes help for food. Problems arise and a suicide occurs.

Eventually, the police make them get out by force. In order to celebrate their liberation, all these people gather in the cathedral to perform a Te Deum mass. At the end of the mass, while the organ is playing, the doors are being opening, but....

In this movie, Luis Buñuel stigmatizes in a surrealist manner this strange force which paralyzes people in a kind of apathy in certain circumstances. By painting the intellectual society, he emphasizes an attitude very common in emergency situations where nobody can help victims because they are waiting for other bystanders' reactions.


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