Throughout his career, Silvia Pinal had the opportunity to work in important productions in Mexico, but there was a time when he managed to make films with director Luis Buñuel, the first one was Viridiana, which brought great international recognition to the actress, but was also surrounded by controversy because the film was banned in Spain.
In 1961 Viridiana it premiered, in it they tell us the story of a novice, who has the same name as the movie, who one day visits his uncle Jaime, it was during his stay that Jaime lulls his niece to sleep and tries to abuse her, this because Viridiana and his late wife have a great resemblance.
Finally, Jaime regrets and does not commit his plan, however, he lies to his niece so that he does not return to the convent and tells her that he raped her.
Viridiana walks away from her uncle, which causes him to commit suicide. The young woman feels guilty, gives up being a nun and stays at Jaime’s mansion to practice charity, that is why he welcomes a group of homeless people, who in the end rob him.
Why did they ban Viridiana in Spain?
Recording the movie was a challenge for Luis Buñuel, since he decided to film it in Spain, a country that at that time faced censorship Franco, but also the director was exiled in Mexico, so when he went to his native country to work he was harshly criticized by the Republicans Spaniards who were also exiled.
Another factor that caused the film to be banned is that the last scene, where Viridiana visits her cousin, Jorge, and upon entering the mansion she meets Ramona, the employee joins them to play cards, but in a very sensual way, which suggests a sexual threesome.
But also an article published in the newspaper The Observer Romano from Vatican City he criticized the film mainly because in one scene the tramps recreate the painting from The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, where Jesus is played by the most scruffy wanderer.
All this caused the film to be censored in Spain and the Franco dictatorship ordered the destruction of all copies of Viridiana, however, only one was saved.
Silvia Pinal hides the only copy of Viridiana
if you know that Silvia Pinal traveled to Mexico and that inside his belongings he hid the only remaining copy of Viridiana, film that, although it faced several criticisms, was awarded the Golden Lion, the highest award, at the Venice Film Festival.
At the 2021 edition of the Cannes Film Festival he attended Michelle Salas, Silvia Pinal’s great-granddaughter, The model shared on Instagram a publication in which she remembered the moment when her great-grandmother hid the copy of Viridiana, a name that years later the actress gave her daughter, who died in a car accident.
“On May 18, 1961, exactly 60 years ago, my great-grandmother Silvia Pinal was at the Cannes film festival for her film directed by maestro Luis Buñuel“ Viridiana ”. Currently considered the most important film in Spanish cinema, which could not be shown in Spain at that time due to the Franco dictatorship. The film at the time was considered cruel, sacrilegious, blasphemous, and extremely controversial. But a negative had been smuggled to Paris with the excuse that there were better studios in the French capital to make the final audio mixes. Curious fact, the film arrived a day before its screening at the film festival and Viridiana managed to evade national censorship by winning the Palme d’Or, being the only Spanish film to obtain this distinction to this day ”.
“On that trip, my great-grandmother relates that she hid the negative of the film inside the seams of her coat and fled to Mexico where they hid it (they buried it at a friend’s house to be exact) for many years. According to what they say, after seeing the comments of the festival, Franco had everything related to Viridiana burned and it was banned in Spain until 1977. Today we have the opportunity to have this masterpiece alive thanks to her . An endearing, brave woman that I admire and respect with all my heart ”.