I thought "Los Olvidados" was a great film. Even though it was very subversive and ahead of its time in a lot of ways, it was also very different from recent dramatic social commentary films in that it showed slumming Mexican life all from real characters with no comedic releases. The only deviation from the injustice and suffering that was nearly constantly portrayed was when any one of the children just had a moment where they acted like kids and did something silly.
Though it was much harder to watch because there was nearly nothing buffering us from the truth or lightening the mood at all for the whole duration, it felt intensely powerful and prolific. The truth of it really resonated with me in a whole new way, I truly felt the injustices of the time. Though it's a bad comparison, I've noticed from being American and growing up in the states that the more neglected and disenfranchized and the less educated a society becomes a la its government, the more the internal workings of a society begin to combust.
What I find interesting while truly depressing about the message of this film is that progress was never really reached. At the beginning, we are shown that the message of this film was not that of pessimism, but that of optimism, hoping that by educating people more and more, that eventually progress would change the fate of the impoverished Mexican communities. What's sad is that some progress has been made, but now there's even less of a middle class than there once was in Mexico, and poverty rates continue to flourish. I hope that progress can be made, especially with a brand new American president, who I'm hoping won't say silly things like let's "seal the borders," who will work with the Mexican president.