No Satisfaction and No Enlightenment
Release Date: May 08, 2009
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Javier
Beltran, Matthjew McNultuy,
Marina Gatell, and Arly Jover
Genre: Historical Drama
Runtime: 112 minutes
Distributor: Regent Releasing
Director: Paul Morrison
Executive Producer: Stephen P. Jarchow, Paul
Colichman, Debra Stasson, and
Producer: Carlo Dusi, Jonny Persey and
Writer: Philippa Goslett
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The movie opens in Madrid in 1922, where the flamboyant 18-year-old Dalí arrives to attend university. Future film director Luis Buñuel, a Marxist and an atheist, is already friends with the poet Federico Lorca, who later becomes active in Spanish leftwing politics during the turbulent 1930s.
The three young men become fast friends, part of an avant garde art movement in the 1920s. Lorca, being Roman Catholic, secretly struggles with homosexual feelings, especially toward Dalí. Eventually, the two begin a tentative romance, but when it comes time to go through with it sexually, Dalí can’t do it. In time, he runs away to Paris to join the avant garde community there with Buñuel, who is disgusted by Lorca’s homosexuality.
Buñuel changes his mind about such perversion, however, when he sees Lorca’s political commitment in the increasingly volatile 1930s, when the government became rabidly anti-Catholic. Meanwhile, Dalí retreats to the celebrity that his surrealist art brings him, and an affair with an older married woman, a Russian immigrant whom he later marries. Dalí’s antics, especially his crave for fame, increasingly disgust Lorca, though Lorca repairs his friendship with the Marxist Buñuel, who becomes one of the most acclaimed film directors of the 20th Century. Tragedy looms, however, when the Spanish Civil War breaks out between the fascists, monarchists, conservatives, and traditional military on one side and the anti-Catholic liberals and radical leftists on the other.
Of course, the anti-clerical radicalism and violence among the left-wing forces, who were supplied by the Soviet Union and the Spanish Communist Party, increasingly led Roman Catholic leaders to seek protection from the fascist forces in Spain, who were supplied by Adolf Hitler’s Germany. The movie does not mention the radical anti-Catholic policies of the leftist activists Lorca associated with during the 1930s. It is estimated that Lorca’s buddies murdered nearly 7,000 priests and nuns during the Spanish Civil War.
The artistic work of these characters is more interesting than the movie’s perverted, propagandistic homoerotic plot. Yet, LITTLE ASHES tells viewers little about the artistic theories and passions that motivated these three men. Ironically, despite the iconoclastic nature of much of their work, Dalí reportedly converted to Roman Catholicism later in his life and Buñuel later disavowed one of the major atheist statements he had made. “It’s guilt we must escape from, not God,” he said in 1977.
The Good News is, of course, that Jesus Christ frees us from the guilt and bondage of our sins, through His sacrifice on the Cross and His resurrection.
LITTLE ASHES contains strong, but brief, foul language, shots of explicit nudity and a graphic sex scene, as well as very strong homosexual references.
LITTLE ASHES is a strident political statement about homosexuality rather than an insightful look at the artistic work of the two men. It attacks the Christian, biblical morality and culture that say homosexual behavior is evil and anti-social. It also supports the anti-religious, left-wing radicals in the Spanish Civil War, who eventually murdered nearly 7,000 priests and nuns during the war. Finally, it contains strong foul language, explicit nudity and a graphic sex scene.