A handful of guests gather in a large conference hall. Astonishingly, the servants take flight, and, even more inexplicably, the guests are not able to leave their seats once they’ve sat down. An invisible wall holds the group captive. A power outage follows and fear spreads. The barriers of bourgeois conventions crumble piece by piece with verbal gaffes, fits of jealousy, physical violence, and a battle of all against all. A man dies, a young couple commits suicide. After several days, the strange paralysis dissolves as unexpectedly as it appeared. The individuals exit their supposed prison through open doors.
Luis Buñuel created a surrealist masterpiece with his 1962 film, The Exterminating Angel
. The imprisoned guests, reduced to a fundamental struggle for survival, are confronted with the sphere of the irrational, which eludes any facile interpretation. "The world is becoming increasingly absurd. But I’m still a Catholic and atheist, thank God," Buñuel said of his present.Courtesy of Luis Buñuel Film Institute and Luis Alcoriza Archive