Catalan Review


Catalan Review (2019), 33, (1), 119–134.


Pa negre (Agustí Villaronga, 2010) and Fènix 11·23 (Joel Joan and Sergi Lara, 2012) reflect a recent trend in Peninsular film that is consistent with the historical memory movement, as well as the swelling presence of Catalan culture and identity in Peninsular society. While Pa negre is set in the 1940s at the beginning of the Franco dictatorship and portrays financial stagnation and social class tensions after the Civil War, Fènix 11·23 adapts an actual court case from the mid-2000s. The protagonists’ interactions with the Guardia Civil, their interactions with their parents, and their experiences at school, in addition to the use of a child protagonist and traits of the thriller genre, connect the two historically dissimilar narratives to portray the effects of the political violence perpetuated by the Franco dictatorship. By analyzing these aspects and the responses to these films by viewers, critics, and distributors in Catalonia, Spain, and abroad, this project determines that temporal distance allows these films to be consumed differently by spectators.

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