Although its obvious point of reference is Los Olvidados, there are few similarities between Lyon's film and Buñuel's, other than the subject: the homeless children of South America. Los Niños Abandonados is the simplest and most basic documentary, avoiding embroidery, refusing commentary, and largely choosing to avoid judgment or easy answers. Its observation of the children in their pathetic round of begging and cruel games, ignored by the world around them, is essentially pictorial (Lyon was a photographer before he started making films). If Lyon opts for compassion rather than analysis, it is nevertheless hard to sidestep an awareness of the church's impotence and hypocrisy.
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