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As Buñuel must have expected, the Franco government was horrified at what he completed and did their best to suppress the film.
Buñuel’s cut was smuggled out of the country and received the ultimate accolade, a Palme d’Or at Cannes, followed by an even better stamp of approval for Buñuel, condemnation by the Catholic Church.
This act of charity and misguided social enterprise spirals into a denouement of inspired sacrilege.
Viridiana’s piety is further challenged by the arrival of Don Jaime.
When Don Jaime sees his niece, he is struck by her strong resemblance to his deceased wife.
As the great director’s Mexican period drew to a close – a near 20-year period of filmmaking that gave the world dazzling melodramas like ).
Viridiana quickly becomes aware that things on the estate are not quite as they should be and does her best to return to the security of the convent.
However, both Don Jaime and Ramona, through a shifting combination of threats, gentle persuasion, emotional blackmail and stratagems that are perverse, but oddly affectionate in their intensity, act to keep her on the estate.
Banned in Spain and denounced by the Vatican, Luis Buñuel’s irreverent vision of life as a beggar’s banquet is regarded by many as his masterpiece.
In it, novice nun Viridiana does her utmost to maintain her Catholic principles, but her lecherous uncle and a motley assemblage of paupers force her to confront the limits of her idealism.
Viridiana hasn’t seen her uncle since she was a child, but is pressured by her Mother Superior to visit for a few days.