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Nazarín



"There comes a time when everything fails to Nazarín. In addition he is contradictory. He believes in alms, he has preached in favor of it. Finally, when a poor woman gives him a pineapple, he refuses to accept it. For me, there Nazarín fails, because he is rejecting what has been the basis of his life, his beliefs. And he goes crying ... That attitude of Nazarín intrigue me as much as you. And I am touched. What will become of this man, after such terrible experiences? I dont know ...

Luis Buñuel




Andrei Tarkovski

Which in my opinion is the best film of Buñuel, Nazarín (Mexico, 1958), particularly remarkable for its simplicity. The dramatic structure of the film is reminiscent of a parabola, and its main protagonist to Don Quixote.

Bunuel's work is deeply rooted in the classical culture of Spain. One cannot imagine him without his inspired link with Cervantes and El Greco, Lorca and Picasso, Salvador Dali and Arrabal. Their work, filled with passion, angry and tender, intense and defiant, is born on the one hand of a deep love of country, and on the other of their seething hatred for lifeless structures, for the brutal, impassive milking dry of brains. The field of their vision, narrowed by disdain, takes in only that which is alive with human sympathy, the divine spark, ordinary human suffering —with those things which for centuries have seeped into the hot, stony Spanish earth.

The Nazarín final scene is really shocking but -and this is especially important- not by its symbolism, which has associations with the Gospel, but because of its great emotional power. It is a magnificent example of the dominant force of the artistic image on the necessary constraints in their ability to articulate content. Only when Nazarín has been seen a second or third time you come to perceive the rational meaning that it contains.


Max Aub

In all the work of Buñuel there are no such tender love scenes like the dwarf Ujo and Andara prostitute. He will never reach such tenderness on dialogue or image.

Ujo alone, abandoned in the dust, is so heartbreaking or more than Charlot.


Octavio Paz

In Nazarin, with a style that avoids any complacency and rejects any suspicious lyricism, Buñuel tells the story of a quixotic priest, which his conception of Christianity is soon opposed to the Church, society and the police ...

In the tradition of Spanish madman, Buñuel tells the story of a disappointment. For Don Quixote the illusion was chivalry; for Nazarin Christianity.

As in his travels through mountains and villages, the image of Christ pales in Nazarín begins to emerge another: that of men. The supernatural gives way to something wonderful: human nature and its powers ... Nazarín refuses the charity of a poor woman, after a moment's hesitation, accept it, not as a gift but as a sign of friendship. Nazarín, the solitary, has ceased to be alone: he has lost God but has found love and brotherhood.


John Huston

Since the end of the war, the two great films I've seen are Bicycle Thieves and Nazarin.

Buñuel's film is a masterpiece which will live in film history.

Nazarin is an ensemble piece made with profound artistic mood, without concessions whatsoever. It is an exceptional film into the current world production.

I have been proud to direct Nazarin.


Juan Antonio Bardem

The Nazarin final scene is the densest, most profound and disturbing scene im the history of the cinema.


Guillermo del Toro

The film has a harsh truth, which is that you cannot expect charity, or dogma, or theory, to work in the real world. So he's very much anti-institution. He shows you that the government is a moron, that the police are useless, the army is useless, and the church is equally useless. The film has one of the best moments of screenplay I've ever seen: when he's in prison, and the criminal says, `I'm from the bad side, you're from the good side. We're the same.' It's great because it's a brutal moment of realisation for Nazarín: from then on, all the way to the end of the movie, he is truly horrified about his nature, and then finally, humbly accepts the pineapple that's offered to him, but he first rejects it.

Nazarín is a paradigm I think of what is a great screenplay, which is, you let the character be defined by his actions.


1959 • Nazarín • 94 min.

 

CREW


Director: Luis Buñuel,
Screenplay: Julio Alejandro and Luis Buñuel based on the novel by Benito Pérez Galdós
Producer: Manuel Barbachano Ponce
Assistant Director: Ignacio Villarreal and Juan Luis Buñuel
Decorator: Edward Fitzgerald
Make-up: Armando Meyer
Photography: Gabriel Figueroa
Still photo: Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Camera operator: Ignacio Romero
Dialog Supervisor: Emilio Carballido
Shooting: Estudios Churubusco Azteca, México, july 1958
Editor: Carlos Savage
Sound: José D. Pérez
Music: Macedonio Alcalá: vals "Dios nunca muere" and drums from Calanda (Aragón)
Laboratory: Churubusco, México
Premiere: Cannes, 11 may 1959
Special Jury Award Cannes Internacional Festival, 1959

CAST

Francisco Rabal: Nazarín
Marga López: Beatriz
Rita Macedo: Andara
Jesús Fernández: Ujo
Ignacio López Tarso: The Good Thief
Luis Aceves Castañeda: Parricide
Noé Murayama: El Pinto
Ofelia Guilmain: Chanfa
Pilar Pellicer: Lucía
Rosenda Monteros: La Prieta
Ada Carrasco: Josefa
Lupe Carriles: Prostitute
Antonio Bravo: Architect
Aurora Molina: La camella
David Reynoso: Juan
Manuel Arvide: The Assistant
Edmundo Barbero: Don Ángel
Raúl Dantés: Sergeant
José Chávez Trowe: Foreman
Ignacio Peón: Priest



Arturo Castro: Colonel
Victorio Blanco: Old prisoner
Cecilia Leger: Woman with pineapple
Manuel Santigosa: Priest
Felipe de Flores: Man with donkey
Enedina Díaz de León: Elderly woman in Josefa's home
José Luis Fernández: Worker
Lidia Franco: Maid of Don Angel
Salvador Godínez: Man selling a horse
Leonor Gómez: Woman prisoner
Blanca Marroquín: Neighbor of Nazarin
Roberto Meyer: Mayor
Inés Murillo: Woman among multitude
Diana Ochoa: Josefa neighbor
José Peña: Priest
Salvador Terroba: Friend of Pinto
Paz Villegas: Mother of Beatriz
Isabel Vázquez 'La Chichimeca': Neighbor of Nazarin
Amado Zumaya: prisoner



STORY

Nazarin, a generous and young priest, lives in a neighbourhood in the downtown of Mexico City, surrounded by poverty. Andara, whore that works nearby, she gets shelter in Nazarin´s room to avoid getting arrested after being responsable of a bloody quarrel. In the meantime, the young Beatriz, who was abandoned by her boyfriend, tries to hang herself and gets support by the priest. Andara provokes a fire in Nazarin´s room through he clothes that burns for getting rid of proofs. Both, the two women, run away.

Nazarin gos searching for fields and villages, living of alms. Te two women follow him because their consider a Saint.

The wanderers arrive to a plague-infested town, where Nazarin tries useless to save a dying woman to reach the heaven, before to be arrested.

Nazarin ends to doubt about God and the Mankind.