Los Olvidados review

Luis Buñuel once said he wanted “to make even the most ordinary spectator feel he is not living in the best of all possible worlds.” It’s an ambition realised with this tragic portrait of slum kids in post-war Mexico City.

This is monochrome social realism as a living nightmare, focusing on two street urchins. Having murdered a blind beggar, the swaggering Jaibo (Roberto Caibo) kills the informant whose testimony sent him to reform school. Pedro (Alfonso Mejia), another witness, attempts to go straight, but Jaibo pursues him, even in his dreams.

Los Olvidados (“the forgotten ones”) is devoid of sentimentality: the poor do not suffer nobly, and human beings are reduced to the level of animals. A hugely influential, matter-of-factly brilliant film.

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