Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Recovering Childhood: Virulence, Ghosts, and Black Bread

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2014), 91, (6), 619–636.

Abstract

Even though Agustí Villaronga's 2010 film Pa Negre / Black Bread garnered the attention of critics and moviegoers in Spain and worldwide, its seemingly sour take on the effects of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco is at odds with the hopeful promises in most of the films about the Civil War that have recently been produced in Spain. This essay considers Villaronga's decision to showcase (and, in some ways, actively promote) psychosis and death over representations of health or happy lives, as well as what it might mean to portray Spain as a country of near-ghosts and angry angels. In representing his child protagonists in this manner, Villaronga challenges the portrayal of Spain as a nation in recovery from the traumas of the past while also reshaping the boundaries between health, life, psychosis, and death.

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Author details

Allbritton, Dean