Bunuel’s Gospel?

In “Nazarin” Bunuel goes beyond theological, dogmatic or historical Christ. He imagines the existential Christ through Christ-like figure of our own times (as Anne-Marie Mieville and Godard imagine existential Mary in “Book of Mary” and “Hail Mary” correspondingly).

In Bunuel’s analysis (and Francisco Rabal’s performance) Father Nazario’s virtuous life cannot be separated from Christ’s protection but as soon as he steps out of religious conventionality it becomes obvious that Christ’s help was in reality Church’s power. As soon as Nazarin appears in the world alone with Christ he opens himself to the danger of being abused by various categories of people and by the system. What is left for Nazarin is the way of martyrdom, exactly like it was for Christ vis-à-vis God and the world.

The Cavalry of deprivations, physical assaults and humiliations became for Nazarin a return to the truth of human condition for those who don’t dare to protect themselves by their own individual power, power of the group or by belonging to the powerful social institutions. The ultimate lesson of Christ for Nazarin is to accept the human, without protection of power, destiny. Identification with Christ is for him identification with the mortal human body, not with a protecting God, with modesty and humility, not with super-human glory.

Read the article about Bunuel’s film “The Fundamentalist Believers, the Scapegoated Outsiders, the Virtuous Followers and the Humiliated Martyrs” and analysis of shots from the film (posted on Feb. 28, 2010) at:   Luis Bunuel’s “Nazarin” (1957) – the Fundamentalist Believers, the Scapegoated Outsiders, the Virtuous Followers and the Humiliated Martyrs by Acting-Out Politics