Land Without Bread
(Tierra sin pan)
Buñuel was inspired to make his only documentary after reading an account of impoverished villages in the Las Hurdes region of Spain. Funded by the lottery winnings of his friend and coproducer Ramón Acín, the film took liberties with reality to jolt viewers out of complacency and into revolutionary action. Even more shocking than his collaborations with Salvador Dalí, this film emphasizes the surreal absurdity of citizens of twentieth-century Spain dying of malnutrition and curable diseases next door to gilded cathedrals, while shoeless schoolchildren are taught to “respect property” when they have none.
(De gevangenen van Buñuel)
Ramón Gieling, Netherlands, 2000
Returning to the locations where Land Without Bread was shot seventy years earlier, Ramón Gieling hosts a screening of the film and interviews inhabitants of various generations, including a few alive at the time of its making, about the impact of Buñuel’s film on the region and their lives. This fascinating reevaluation of Buñuel’s revolutionary documentary assures its subjects and their descendants the last word.