Having recently seen The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie again and found it a bit disappointing, I was half-expecting to have the same reaction here, but in fact I think Los Olvidados has dated far less. By being essentially realistic it shows us how dreadful poverty was (and is) and is neither sentimental nor moralising. As such it is better, for me, than a film like Bicycle Thieves, in that you don't feel anything is being laid on thick to get an effect. The boys' behaviour in the film is often abject and hard to watch, but even a fairly nasty character is given a poetic fantasy sequence as he lies dying, which seems to tie in with the idea of mercy being infinite. It is strangely moving. The main character (Pedro) evokes the profoundest sympathy without anything being forced - there is an incredible moment where he is scuppered with the best intentions, revealing what a trap poverty really is. The handling of the plot is solid and yet subtle in that it is easy to follow while being very revealing of character in so many details. It also works very well visually, with two startling dream sequences. This is one of the things that is particularly impressive, as it blends this into an almost documentary feel at times to create a highly vivid style of cinema, presenting the harshness of the lives it shows and offering some poetic transcendence without betraying it.