despite the weight of the subject at hand, and the disorientation from the rapid montage from one time period to the next, this may be the least surreal of all the French era Bunuels. Within a mix of what for Bunuel seems relatively light provocation, he presents a series of historical religious events that amplify his critique of the Church for it's losing its way through its obsession with infallible detail that contradicts itself as it evolves. i confess that as a fan of the parable of the good samaritan, i share a sense of befuddlement at the intolerance and exclusivity of the fundamentalists of any religion, let alone one founded on love and tolerance.
but what makes Bunuel's argument so interesting is his avowed atheist stance. from his earliest movies on, he has ridiculed the folly of authoritarian ascension, seemingly maintaining full grasp of the beauty of the original that lies beneath the facade. he opens the door for the viewer, while demonstratively refusing to take the step through for himself. one can only wonder what motivations lay at the heart of an artist whose gifts produce such clarity.