Original script: Salvador Dalí
Director: Manuel Cussó-Ferrer
Length: 66 min.
Film based on the original screenplay written by Salvador Dalí in 1932
The film Babaouo, by Manuel Cussó-Ferrer, is based on an original screenplay of the same name, written by Salvador Dalí in 1932 in Paris and first published in French under the title Babaouo: scénario inédit précédé d'un abrégé d'un histoire critique du cinéma et suivi de Guillaume Tell, ballet portugais by Éditions des Cahiers Libres, Paris, 1932.
At the time of its original conception as a screenplay, Babaouo was intended to be a Surrealist film, along the lines of Un Chien andalou. Soft watches, oeufs-au-plat without the plate, burning giraffes, paranoiac images and Art Nouveau aesthetics are some of the distinctively Dalinian elements permeating the atmosphere of Babaouo from start to finish.
Babaouo - the word means something like 'the simpleton' or 'the innocent' - is presented as a conventional story, with a beginning and an end, but full of strange and irrational events that continually sidetrack the linear progression of the plot. The action of the film, as Dalí indicated in the script, 'takes place in 1934 in any country of Europe, during the civil war'.
In the film, Babaouo is on a quest to find his beloved Matilde, who has sent him a letter from a castle in Portugal, asking for his help. He sets out on his journey to the mysterious castle, and after numerous fortuitous encounters and strange situations along the way he finds Matilde and they finally manage to escape, only for their car to crash: Matilde dies and Babaouo is blinded. Having taken refuge in a village in Brittany, Babaouo regains his sight and becomes an artist, until one day, out on one of his regular bike rides, he is murdered.