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La Caza (The Hunt)

Directed by Carlos Saura

Spain, 1966

Cornerhouse, 11 March 2012

The Hunt

What’s most impressive about Carlos Saura’s film is the way in which the tension is continually cranked up, right up until its sudden explosive climax.

There are four men, the three older ones veterans of the Spanish Civil War, hunting rabbits on what was once, during the said war, a battlefield.  Now, the land is desolate.  Many rabbits are diseased, since their burrows rest by the side of so much human decomposition.

Sure, you can read the film as an allegory of the civil war, brother turning on brother, but it seems altogether more elemental than that.  On second thoughts, though, perhaps that is elemental, even Biblical enough: the old yarn of Cain and Abel written en masse.

As an excoriating examination of exactly how unforgiving and vindictive men are (the human spirit is a mean spirit) La Caza can hardly be bettered.  It is showing again tomorrow afternoon as part of Matinee Classics or Viva, one or both of the two.  Details here.