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Young One, The

Director:  Luis Buñuel
Year Released:  1960
Rating:  3.0

An African-American musician on the run - he's (falsely) accused of raping a (crazy) Caucasian woman - finds himself on an island with a brash, creepy game warden and a budding teen/orphan. Although heavy-handed in its treatment of racism and statutory rape - the camera ogles the girl's body, 'implicating' the viewer in the act of objectifying her - it actually proves to be much smarter than it initially lets on: one would traditionally expect the third act to end up one way, but Buñuel allows a sense of fellow-feeling to save the day (it has to be some kind of sly joke, too, that a religious man is the one to bring sanity to this screwed-up and bigoted affair, guiding it to a civil conclusion). The 'stranded on an island' setup corresponds well with Buñuel's other made-in-English movie, the adaptation of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe - both deal with issues of power, control and isolation.

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