When Those Whom People Perceived As Role Models Become Impulsive, Vulgar And Outside The Norms Of Civility

Bunuel made his “The Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie” in early seventies, when many comfortably liberal specialists in cinema appreciated film as masterfully sarcastic and witty in a refined way and capable of arousing welcoming smiles among the culturally enlightened. But for us today, living in the 21st century and doomed to see the behavior of our political, financial and military leaders, Bunuel’s film is not only a matter of directorial elegance, but a nightmarish prediction became true. Just look up at today’s social hierarchs quarrelling with journalists and reporters and scandalizing with simple people. They are the creatures for whom personal profit became the equivalent of political sense and who cannot refrain from insulting and smearing even the mildest critics who disagrees with their absolutist positions and remarks. These people behave disrespectfully and rudely even when they didn’t mean to be. And they’re full of matter-of-factly haughtiness.

Look at the pictures down, how easy and naturally “the best friends” – The Ambassador of an invented (by Bunuel) South American country and colonel of the French army came to a boorish behavior with one another. That’s how wars can start one after another, as a golden chain reaction.

The wealthy hooligans in the ‘60s-‘70s were almost as ruthless as today, but people in the position of the viewers were different – they could take the saber-toothed members of political elites not seriously – with humor, as objects of easy laughter, while today the society’s hierarchs are objects of admiration, worship and fanatic defense on the one hand and fear and envy on the other. That’s how far “democracy” has come from the second part of the 20th century to the first part of 21st one.


That’s how (international) diplomats and hierarchical tip-tops start their relationships – with being “best friends” – with smiles-and-drinks, drinks-and-meals paid by the taxpayers of their corresponding countries.


Quarrel between the Ambassador of Miranda (Fernando Rey) and the Colonel (Claude Pieplu) – 1


Quarrel between Ambassador and Colonel – 2 (pay attention to the configuration of the Ambassador’s lips while he is talking)


Quarrel between Ambassador and Colonel – 3


Quarrel between Ambassador and colonel – 4


Quarrel between Ambassador and Colonel – 5


Look at this face with… incredible – simultaneously greedy and… tender facial expression. In this way the predatory animals look at their prey-food. The eyes of Fernando Rey in the role of Rafael Acosta, ambassador of the Republic of Miranda, are almost caressing his victim, like a lioness’ tongue and gums – the flesh she is in the process of consuming. The Ambassador’s smile is almost sentimental faraway to his opponent he just killed (the distinguished and decorated lout himself, played by Claude Pieplu).


Bunuel ends the film with a resume of the ambassador, Don Rafael’s personality. Does he eat here, under the table – meat or banknotes and checks? May be, meat as banknotes and checks or banknotes and checks as meat and in both cases he, for sure, takes equally intense pleasure.