">Name: Spanish film director Luis Garcia Berlanga censored under Franco
Artist: Luis Garcia Berlanga
Confronting Bodies: Franco, the United States
Date of Action: 1952, 1957, 1961, 1963
Specific Location: Spain
Description of Artwork: Luis Garcia Berlanga's films were often subtle satires that criticized the Spanish government under Franco, the strong religious fervor popular in Spain at the time, and the United States' influence in Spain. In one of his early films, "Bienvenido, Mr.Marshall!" a small village prepares for the arrival of the Marshall Commissioners, on the expectation that they will be given large amounts of money. In an effort to do so they go about trying to make themselves seem as Spanish as possible--learning the Flamenco and building a bullfighting ring among other things. In the end, the Marshall commissioners pass by the village without stopping. In another film, "Los Juevos, milagro" (Every Thursday, a Miracle), Berlanga satirizes the Spanish craze for religion and miracle making. In this film a spa town, in order to attract visitors, invents a reappearance of St.Dimas. The 1961 film "Seat a Poor Person at Your Table" is about a rich family who invites the poor to dinner on Christmas eve. This film makes a comment on bourgeois hypocrisy. In "El Verdugo" (The Executioner), a 1963 film which was later voted the best Spanish film by Spanish critics, is about a poor man who is forced to become an executioner and has to execute a convict against his own free will.
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