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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2004. 52nd Edition  > Sections and Films
Simón del desierto / Simon of the Desert

Simon is one of the numerous stylites that proliferated in the Middle East at the start of the Christian Era: saints or ascetics who, particularly atop a pillar, pray mid-desert. They take their inspiration from the historical character of Simeon the Stylite, who spent the last 37 years of his life on top of a pillar in the Syrian desert. The movie starts when Simon has been on his pillar for six years, six months and six days and is about to move to another, higher version offered to him by the wealthy Práxedes Mateo. The crowds horde around him demanding that he perform a miracle. It?s not long before the Devil also makes his appearance, tempting Simon in all sorts of ways. In the end, Satan succeeds in taking Simon to the New York of the 60s and its rock & roll bars. Simon tries to rid himself of Satan, but to no avail, and the saint finds himself assailed by doubt. Simón del desierto is unfinished, and the part screened here is as far as Buñuel was able to shoot.
Apart from anything else, Buñuel?s cinema is remarkable for the fact that each spectator can draw his or her own conclusions when deciphering a number of his codes. The result is that you either hate him or love him, there?s no in between. His catchphrase ?I?m an atheist, thank God? may help us to situate a recalcitrant, rebel and untamed surrealist, responsible for turning Las Hurdes (Land Without Bread, 1933), Los olvidados (The Young and the Damned, 1950), La voie lactée (The Milky Way, 1969) or Le fantôme de la liberté (The Phantom of Liberty, 1974), among other decisive films.
Luis Buñuel
Julio Alejandro, Luis Buñuel
Gabriel Figueroa
Carlos Savage, Luis Buñuel (kreditatu gabe/uncredited/sin acreditar)
Raúl Lavista
Claudio Brook, Silvia Pinal, Hortensia Santoveña, Luis Aceves Castañeda, Enrique Álvarez Félix
Running Time
45 m.
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© San Sebastian International Film Festival | Developed by: Yo Miento Producciones

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