The Young One (1960)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Mexico , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Moralists or those looking for easy answers will have a hard time with La Joven, Luis Bunuel's exploration of race, sex and humanity's inability to deal with the dark forces of its nature. While not in the same league as Bunuel's recognized classics, Joven is a compelling, disturbing film that refuses to find an easy way out for its subject matter or its characters. Unlike many other films that deal with race, Joven doesn't draw nice, clean lines between sides; the characters are all flawed, none of them perfect. Even the white reverend who defends Traver can't stand to sleep on the same mattress as the black man. Bunuel delights in contrasting humanity with nature in Joven, and thus we have scenes of a badger brutally killing chickens alongside human interactions that Bunuel finds similar. It's powerful and yet also a bit comic; the satirist exercising his bile in a biting fashion, and no one does this better than Bunuel. No one also can do moral ambiguity quite as well, or quite as convincingly. The lack of neatness in the delineation of the characters will unnerve some, but it contributes to Joven's considerable force. The director is greatly aided by Gabriel Figueroa's startling, stunning cinematography, and from performances from his cast which may not always be technically correct but which have the correct "feel" for the material.