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In a time of battle, surrealism emerged as an innovative movement of art and literature that reacted strongly against the age of rationalism and scientific reason. The 1951 film Susana, directed by Luis Buñuel, is about a girl who escapes from imprisonment and finds her way to a plantation, where she causes disruption in the lives of a working family. The story’s plot and scenes displayed in the film conceive of and depict surrealism.
The movement stood for freedom of expression and thought. In the opening scene, after being forced into an unsanitary cell with bugs and rats, Susana prays to God for her freedom. Moments later, the bars on her cell’s window remove with ease, allowing for an escape. Another example of this characteristic comes from one of the family’s maids, Felisa. She refers to her religion, Christianity, many times, especially during the thunder and lightning storm at the beginning of the film. Both women have surrealist qualities by freely expressing their actions with God.
Surrealism also privileged the romantic, mystical dream logic, imagination, chance, desire and amour fou, which is translated to “crazy love.” Throughout the film, Susana slowly makes her mark on the plantation family. As a main part of the film’s plot, she uses her femininity to seduce three men: Guadalupe, the father and owner of the plantation; Alberto, Guadalupe’s son; and Jesús, a worker and family-friend. According to Joanne Hershfield, “Susana is the object of desire for the three men, but she is also a subject who desires, which motivates her actions” (Hershfield 117). The actions of romance, flirting, seduction, and desire from both ends associate with surrealism.
In conclusion, the story’s plot and scenes displayed in Susana conceive of and depict surrealism. All of the main characters exhibited the movement’s characteristics in one way or another. The three men, two who are related, fell in love with the same woman. The “crazy love” they felt for Susana turned them against each other. The film combined illogic with realism and favored the absurd. With all considered, Susana is classified as a surrealist film.

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