Close Up

5 February 2019: The Milky Way


The Milky Way
Luis Buñuel, 1969, 98 min
French with English subtitles

"On a pilgrimage of sorts, two tramps take a journey through time and space on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Often oblivious to the symbolism or significance of their bizarre encounters, these two everymen are unwitting travelers through Buñuel’s heretical history of Christianity where mystery, miracles, and visions proliferate. Jesus, the Holy Virgin, the Marquis de Sade, Death and bishops, nuns, priests, prostitutes, vagabonds, and 20th Century bourgeoisie debate all matter of Christian paradoxes – from the Holy Trinity to the Eucharist. Like the mad priest whose neuroses are triggered when he is contradicted, the scenarios petulantly illustrate the close-minded circular logic and ever-changing “absolute” truths of those who throughout civilization, have wielded great power over the fates of their followers. A non-linear manuscript of vivid tableaux and ingenious transitions, Buñuel leaves no theological stone unturned in this thorough upheaval of Christianity’s dark side." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Luis Buñuel