Las fuerzas vivas

Media Type: Film

Year: 1975

Who wrote / made it : Luis Alcoriza

Plot summary: Las fuerzas vivas suggests that randomness was integral to the Revolution. It is a satirical film where serious themes are mixed with farce and absurd humour. Shot in colour, it is set in a peripheral village at the onset of the Revolution. The narrative follows the abuses of power, and the bumbling and incompetence on both sides as control shifts from one grouping to another as the Revolution evolves. The men of the town are avaricious and stupid; the women are horny and outspoken. Attention is drawn to how the women are excluded from decisions by the foolish men in power.

The camera takes multiple points of view through which we are to observe the absurdity of the town. Las fuerzas vivas holds the rhetoric of the Revolution up to ridicule. The style and the sexual politics, while professing liberalism, are typical of international films of the time and is now somewhat dated. Sexual liberty is espoused while the love scenes that proceed provide ample opportunity for the objectification of women.

In Las fuerzas vivas, power, both secular and religious, social mores, and violence are all ridiculed. There is an attempt to evoke the chaos of war and, while there are some skirmishes, the town is represented as far removed from the violent conflict. Most of the action takes place in or around the telegraph office, where the inhabitants await delayed delivery of newspapers and news of the changes in centrally controlled power. The changing news influence which group of men in the village has power. These shifts draw attention to the absurdity both of centralised government and of how governance of the town changes hands. It is clear that the news has to travel far and is often days old by the time it reaches the town, therefore, local control is subject to the vagaries of news reporting, poor transport links and the progress of either side. The plot soon becomes farcical. With its broad satire, Las fuerzas vivas falls short of political critique.

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