Pan Negro

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The film Pan Negro paints a picture of Catalan, Spain, after the brutal civil war against the nationalists. By opening with a dark, violent scene introducing a murder, viewers get a sense of the malicious plot that is to follow. The main character, Andreu, is a young child who witnessed the murder in the beginning of the film. Andreu’s father is later accused of the murder by authorities. In Cristina Moreira’s piece, Spectacle, Trauma and Violence, she discusses the transition from dictatorship to representative democracy. She states that the three fundamental concepts to understand Spain’s cultural trajectory are spectacle, trauma and violence. For spectacle, she states that individuals begin to self-fetish and then represent themselves as alienated from the spectacle being contemplated. This is much like Andreu when he begins to understand the truths of his family. He trusts nobody but himself and believes that he is able to salvage his future by alienating himself from his family. For trauma, Moreira declares that the traumatized subject often carries the weight of an intolerable history and is trapped in the past and the present, becoming a symptom of history that he cannot possess. Clearly Andreu is traumatized by the events that have taken place due to his family’s actions. He doesn’t know how to handle reality so he tries to run away from it all, ultimately pleasing the people who persecuted his father. As far as violence goes, Moreira says that the individual believes that he or she will certainly obtain the truth. When Andreu believes he has found truth, he becomes very violent and hurts all of his birds. In Colmeiro’s piece, Espana, una nacion de fantasmas?, the author discusses the issues with memory and formation of one’s identity. We see that in order to cover up his memories and truths, Andreu attempts to create a new identity at his new school. Both of these articles relate to and help clarify the darkness and confusion felt by the main...
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