Luis Buñuel is hailed by many as one of the greatest directors of all time. He started his career in Paris in the mid 1920's in what later became known as his "First French Period". After going back to Spain in the 1930's and facing exile due to the Spanish Civil War he ended up moving to the United States for a short period before finally settling in Mexico during the 1940's. It was in 1950 that he ended up directing "Los Olvidados" a film which in his own words "revitalized" his career.
"Los Olvidados" (Known in the international market as "The Young and the Damned") is the story of a group of young criminals and their misfortune in Mexico City. The two main protagonists are "Jaibo" (Roberto Cobo) and "Pedro" (Alfonso Mejia). Jaibo is a ruthless criminal who has the power to influence the decisions of other young criminals in the making such as Pedro; who despite having the best intentions can't help but keep getting involved in crime due to the extreme poverty that surrounds him and the lack of education.
Buñuel's talent's definitely help make "Los Olvidados" a great film, his directing talents are evident in this film and even though this film was made on a very low budget, Buñuel manages to capture the reality of his new place of residence with a realism that will leave viewers impressed.
The Script is written by Buñuel himself with the aid of respected Mexican screenwriter Luis Alcoriza. They both managed to put together a film that was widely acclaimed by critics and that marked the beginning of Buñuel's "Mexican Period" (which many critics consider easily his best).
There's a brilliant dream scene in this film that should be mandatory watching if there ever was a course called "Buñuel 101" in this film J. Hoberman of the Village Voice claims that "The movie provides no basis for reformist optimism, although, in his brilliant dream sequence, Buñuel attributes a Freudian unconscious to the wretched of the earth: This is his humanism."
Buñuel is an incredible director, his works have influenced a huge number of modern filmmakers and if you feel like exploring his work there is no better start than "Los Olvidados".