10 · 24 · 19

Nazarín, by Luis Buñuel, ‘revives’ 60 years later at the 17th FICM

By: Gustavo R. Gallardo y Aranza Flores

The recently restored digital version of the film Nazarín (1959), by Luis Buñuel, was screened during the 17th edition of the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM), with the presence of the deputy director of the Circuito Cineteca de Red Nacional, Orianna Paz, and the Televisa Foundation curator, Héctor Orozco.

The film addresses a priest’s torment and his doubts towards his faith after being accused by parishioners for defending a prostitute who caused a fire. 

The restoration work took 36 weeks and “image and sound stabilization was made, so it is a marvelous copy and I think people will enjoy it very much,” said Orianna Paz. 

Héctor Orozco

Héctor Orozco

On the other hand, Héctor Orozco said that this restored version has only been screened at the Cannes Festival, to commemorate the 60 years of its release in Mexico. “It is a very important film because it was awarded at the Cannes Festival in 1959. Buñuel was very pressured by the Spanish press, but with that he managed to return to Spain after 20 years of exile.”

The screening of Nazarín integrates the program dedicated to Spanish exiles who arrived in Mexico after fleeing the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship, and to Luis Buñuel as part of the efforts that the Televisa Foundation makes along with the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project de L’Immagine Ritrovata, the Cineteca Nacional and the UNAM Film Library to preserve Mexican cinema. 

The screening was attended by the director of Critics’ Week in Cannes, Charles Tesson, and filmmaker Michel Franco. 

Charles Tesson

Charles Tesson

On Thursday, October 24, Alejandro Pelayo, director of the Cineteca Nacional, in the company of the general director of the Morelia International Film Festival, Daniela Michel, presented a special screening of the film Nazarín by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel.

In the presentation, Pelayo made an introduction where he explained the beginnings and trajectory of Buñuel in our country. The film was presented this year at the Cannes Festival in the Cannes Classic selection to commemorate the 60 years of his Jury Prize.

Alejandro Pelayo, Daniela Michel

Alejandro Pelayo, Daniela Michel

Nazarín, Los olvidados and Viridiana are, for me, among the most finished films in Mexican cinema,” explained Alejandro Pelayo, who is also a director, producer and screenwriter.