Winner of the Best Director prize at the 1966 Berlin Film Festival, The Hunt established master filmmaker Carlos Saura’s international reputation, as well as that of the nascent “New Spanish Cinema.” Four men go off for a weekend hunting trip. Three of them—Paco, Jose and Luis—fought together in the Spanish Civil War; the fourth, Enrique, is Luis’ brother-in-law and much younger than the rest. Jose, the organizer of the weekend, hopes to borrow money for his failing business from Paco. The two often make fun of Luis, just as they used to during the war. Enrique feels himself increasingly excluded from their conversations and somewhat shocked at the seething tensions among the other three. Saura’s acute portrait of the victors of the Civil War ran into immediate problems with the censors, who forced him to take out any direct war references—something Saura came to believe actually improved the script.

The Hunt is an extraordinary work in every respect, and the only film truly in Buñuel tradition: cruel, tough, relentless…In the words of Luis Buñuel himself: ‘I have not seen such a completely achieved work of art in a long time.’” —NYFF4 program note

Image courtesy of Kobal Collection.