Monday, February 6, 2012

LA JOVEN (1960)

A colored man with a charge of raping a white woman ran away from town landed up on an island with a signboard stating- ‘Trespassers on this island will be prosecuted to full extent of the law’. Hiding himself on island he witnesses a rough and tough white man and a twelve years old orphan girl living in cabins adjacent to each other. The drama is pushed through tension between pedophile bigot, an innocent girl and racial prejudice. The arrival of preacher adds the drama complex turn towards climax. 

Devoid of his trademark surreal frames, this middle period and lesser known Bunuel film is not one of his best, but it surely packed with enough stuff of taut thrill and Bunuelian dark humor. His fan may witness his outsider stand against man’s euphemistic social animal status in complex characters and their behavior. There are certain unexpected developments between three characters and Bunuel brilliantly maintained his satiric punch on racial and sexual hypocrisy giving us moments of dark, sensual comedy. One may notice certain symbolic traits of Bunuel films here but not much- his fetish for legs, the degenerative images of animals (hanged rabbit in the kitchen) and religious satire (watch ‘baptism’ scene between the girl and the preacher).  

Recommended to all Bunuel fans/beginners.

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