Reviews are overwhelmingly positive for the new Spanish animation feature, Buñuel In the Labyrinth of the Turtles by Salvador Simo.

Based on the graphic novel by Fermin Solis, and his filming Land Without Bread (Tierra Sin Pan) in 1933, immediately after the outrage his earlier film, L'Age D'Or (1930) caused,  Buñuel In the Labyrinth of the Turtles  is getting some really fine reviews from mainstream media.

Produced by Manuel Cristobal (Wrinkles) and directed by former Disney animator Salvador Simo, the 2D animation film gives its own take on the famous Spanish surrealist director.

Johathan Holland in The Hollywood Reporter writes:

Salvador Simo’s animated feature, telling the story of the shooting of Bunuel’s pioneering weirdo masterpiece, does ample justice to its subject. Part homage to the work and part revision of its status, Bunuel is above all a good story elegantly told, transcending its obviously niche appeal and showing that Spanish animation, following last year’s multiple award-winning Another Day of Life, is looking healthy.

Even though he finds some parts of the animation process potentially problematic,  Peter Debruge in Variety praises the overall project:

it was a brilliant choice on the part of director Salvador Simo to use such an expressionistic medium to examine how surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel bent reality to his own ends in the making of 1933 documentary “Las Hurdes” (aka “Land Without Bread”).

Alfonso Rivera in Cineuropa concentrates on the main character figure:

This humanisation of a figure so venerated as Luis Buñuel (who we see here at a crossroads, at war with himself and the uncertainty of youth) lends a touch of emotion, authenticity and audacity to a film which reveals some of the filmmaker’s most horrific nightmares and uses flashbacks to reflect on his childhood and the complicated relationship he shared with his authoritarian father

The film is co-produced by Sygnatia, Glow, The Glow Animation Studio, Submarine Hampa, Telemadrid, and Canal Extremadura TV.

International sales are handled by Latido Films. GKIDS holds the North American rights for the film, and  will release the Spanish feature on 16 August (Landmark Nuart). The French premiere of the film takes place 19 June. Buñuel In the Labyrinth of the Turtles competes both at Animafest Zagreb and Annecy Festival.

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