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Las hurdes

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My passion for the centers of modern art is disappointing. However sometimes something touches you. On the same floor of the Reina Sofia which exhibits the Guernica, always with a cloud of public, there is a room prior and rather empty which is projected a documentary in black-and-white, 27 minutes and premiered in 1933. It is a film that is studied at schools (at least it was in my day preautonómicos), but that not all spaniards have seen: “Las Hurdes, land without bread”, which was filmed by Luis Buñuel when he was 32 years old. Las Hurdes are in the North of Cáceres, in the line with the Salamanca. It is a very mountainous territory, minimum fertile land. Its landscape value is huge, but the landscape does not eat. Shire very isolated, voices humanists began to alert at the end of the NINETEENTH century of their poor living conditions. Already in the TWENTIETH century came the allegations of Unamuno and Marañón, which led Alfonso XIII to travel there in 1922. Buñuel and his camera toured for two months. Today it is known that the director forced some scenes (he slew the goat that nearly fell off a cliff). But even so, the documentary follows cutting off the breath. In Las Hurdes, then living 8,000 people, whose stock barely differed from neolithic times. The diet was potatoes and beans, with pork as something exceptional (if there was). The goiter, and malaria were endemic. Dwarfism, incest, and cretinism, frequent. People never washed and were covered with worn-out clothes. Most of the houses -blocks – had no windows, or rooms, or beds. The families slept huddled together on the ground, covering with leaves. The kitchen was a pot on a hook. Did not know the plow. In the film chew a atmosphere terrible: people are sad, dirty and sick, it passes through sleepy, alienated by the hunger and the lack of despair. They were not the only villages as well in the Spain. Las Hurdes suffered from an exodus to the end of the TWENTIETH century and has lost half of its population. Still today far from being a prosperous place, because their income remains below the average extremadura. But after only 85 years since the filming of Buñuel, Las Hurdes are on another planet. The six municipalities have a pharmacy; there are two health centres and 34 clinics; schools, colleges and 282 companies. 53% of the houses have heating and all of the municipalities offer multi-sports facilities. Of course have water and electricity and the internet reaches a quarter of the households. The reservoirs have alleviated the drought. Hunger and endemic diseases are history. The tourism has started, with six hotels, three camp sites and two rural houses. Illiteracy, once a standard begins to be rarity. Spain has taken a leap amazing and today is one of the countries where is best to live in the world. For that reason am sorry to see four children posh playing to longings republican in the Congress, complaining of the well-being of his country and the extraordinary stage of the constitutional democracy and glorifying a regime that was a dramatic failure. (NB: The film of Buñuel was prohibited by the authorities of the much-admired Republic II). Translated from ABC News https://www.abc.es/opinion/abci-hurdes-201812070102_noticia.html

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