Viridiana | Chicago Reader

Viridiana

90 minutes

Luis Buñuel returned to his native Spain to create this 1961 masterpiece, which marked his rebirth as a filmmaker of international repute. Mexican star Silvia Pinal plays the title character, a girl about to enter a convent whose confident plans for sainthood are interrupted by her uncle's (false) announcement that he has raped her in her sleep. She forges ahead anyway, filling her uncle's estate with beggars and madmen in an obsessive demonstration of Christian charity. Franco's government, which financed the film, later attempted to suppress it, burning all the prints that remained in Spain. Luckily, a few had already been sent to France, and the rest—Buñuel's brilliant late period—is history. With Fernando Rey and Francisco Rabal. In Spanish with subtitles.

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