By John Hopewell
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Additional resources for Out of the Past: Spanish Cinema After Franco
Be who he was and pretend to be someone else' . 8 0 Steadily throughout the 40s, film-makers distanced themselves from the regime: Edgar Neville and the falangist Jose Antonio Nieves Conde are the best known examples. Ex-Republicans were also able to make features. Again, their films were unlikely to be unambivalent endorsements of Fran coist views. El santuario no se rinde ('The Sanctuary Refuses to Surrender', 1949), for example, was directed by Arturo Ruiz Castillo, who worked in Lorca's 'La Barraca' travelling theatre company and made films during the 39 war for the All iance of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals.
I remember saying to Arthur Koestler, "History stopped in 193 6", at which he nod de d in immediate understanding,' George Orwell wrote in Homage to Catalonia. 59 The reality - rather than the myth - ofFrancoism was that it attemp ted to put the clock back and restore an authoritarian, national Catholicism. Franco sought to j ustify his dictatorship in the eyes of Western Europe by claiming that 'Spain is different'. Spain, the Establishment argument went, was the land of sol and soul, an exotic, distinctive experi ence for the foreigner, the land of Don Juan and Don Quixote; amatory, amiabl e, but unfortunately anarchic Spaniards - even Spaniards were made to believe - needed a strong hand to govern them.
In Gil's comedies, characters seek consciously to stop others from suffering their own past misfortunes. 9 'Rose my mother has named me for my own misfortune, for there is no rose in this world which does not lose its p eta ls, ' Malvaloca recites at the beginning of the film. True enough, in a world accustomed to deprivatio11 Rosa/Malvaloca is soon deflowered, allowing herself to be seduced so that she can support her hard-up family. Desperately seeking 'wholeness', she meets Leonardo, a forge-owner o bses sed to the point of neurosis by the recasting of a broken bell.
Out of the Past: Spanish Cinema After Franco by John Hopewell