Synopsis by Hal Erickson
After 25 years' exile, Luis Buñuel was invited to his native Spain to direct Viridiana -- only to have the Spanish government suppress the film on the grounds of blasphemy and obscenity. Regarded by many as Buñuel's crowning achievement, the film centers on an idealistic young nun named Viridiana (Silvia Pinal). Just before taking her final vows, Viridiana is forced by her mother superior to visit her wealthy uncle Don Jaime (Fernando Rey), who has "selflessly" provided for the girl over the years. She has always considered Don Jaime an unspeakable beast, so she is surprised when he graciously welcomes her into his home. Just as graciously, he sets about to corrupt Viridiana beyond redemption -- all because the girl resembles his late wife. It is always hard to select the most outrageous scene in any Buñuel film; our candidate in Viridiana is the devastating Last Supper tableau consisting of beggars, thieves, and degenerates. As joltingly brilliant today as on its first release, Viridiana won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.
death, bum, estate, family, homecoming, illegitimacy, innocence, nun, obsession, suicide, uncle
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance