It takes a very special kind of film to receive the denunciation of the Pope. Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana was labelled ‘blasphemous’ by the Vatican upon its release in 1961, although that didn’t stop it winning the Palme d’Or in Cannes (it might even have helped).
Buñuel’s irreverent vision of life as a beggar’s banquet focuses on novice nun Viridiana (Silvia Pinal) as she does her utmost to maintain her Catholic principles, whilst her lecherous uncle and a motley assemblage of paupers force her to confront the limits of her idealism.
Featuring intimations of sexual assault along with a scene where a group of profane beggars parody Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, Viridiana sees Buñuel settling a score with the Catholic Church, largely for their support of the fascist dictator Franco, who made sure the film was banned in Spain.
The screening will be preceded by an introduction from University of Warwick lecturer and Spanish cinema aficionado José Arroyo, who hosts the Eavesdropping At The Movies podcast and has taught film studies across the globe, including Barcelona and Cuba.
Warning! Contains incestuous lechery, perversion of religious imagery and ideas that offended a dictator.
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