Viva la Muerte (film)

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Viva la muerte
1971 French theatrical release poster for Arrabal's film Viva la muerte.jpeg
Directed by Fernando Arrabal
Produced by Hassen Daldoul
Jean Velter
Written by Fernando Arrabal
Starring Mahdi Chaouch
Anouk Ferjac
Núria Espert
Cinematography Jean-Marc Ripert
Edited by Laurence Leininger
Isabelle Films
Distributed by Alliance Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • May 12, 1971 (1971-05-12)
Running time
90 minutes
Country France
Language French

Viva la Muerte (English: Long Live Death) is a 1971 French-Tunisian drama film shot in Tunisia and directed by Fernando Arrabal.[1] The film released on May 12, 1971 and Arrabal drew on his own childhood for inspiration for the movie.[2] Viva la Muerte takes place at the end of the Spanish Civil War, telling the story of Fando, a young boy whose father was turned in to authorities as a suspected communist by his fascist-sympathizing mother. It has gained cult popularity as a midnight movie. The opening credits sequence features drawings by acclaimed artist, actor and novelist Roland Topor.


When Fando's fascist-sympathizing mother turns his father into the authorities as a suspected communist, Fando (Mahdi Chaouch) is told that his father was executed. In truth the father is actually just imprisoned and eventually begins to search for him, constantly imagining what his father might be up to or what might have happened to him.



Allmovie gave Viva la Muerte four stars, remarking that the film's extreme visuals would make it "not for the faint of heart".[3] The New York Times gave the film a mostly positive review, stating that while it was "no perfect movie, it seems to me inescapably a major work."[4]


  1. ^ Brown, Edward G (June 1984). "Arrabal's VIVA LA MUERTE! From Novel to Filmscript". Literature Film Quarterly. 12 (2): 136. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Crouse, Richard (2008). Son of the 100 Best Movies You've Never Seen. ECW Press. p. 277. ISBN 1550228404. 
  3. ^ "Viva la Muerte". Allmovie. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Greenspun, Robert (October 26, 1971). "Viva La Muerte (1971) Screen: Arrabal's 'Viva la Muerte'". NYT. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 

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