Catalan Review

WHOSE MOVIE IS IT ANYWAY? QUESTIONS OF OWNERSHIP AND NATIONAL IDENTITY SURROUNDING PABLO BERGER’S BLANCANIEVES (2012)

Catalan Review (2018), 32, (1), 45–66.

Abstract

The movie Blancanieves (2012), directed by Pablo Berger, became an interesting point of contention between Spanish and Catalan claims to the film’s nationality when the movie was nominated by L’Acadèmia del Cinema Català (ACC) for twelve Gaudí Awards. The real polemic erupted, however, when the film won the award for Best Catalan Language Film, given that Blancanieves is a silent film. For many, the film is anything but Catalan since it is silent, Berger is Basque, and most of the actors are not Catalan. Furthermore, the story is set in Andalusia and there is no specific content or themes that might be considered Catalan. For others, the film’s nationality is Catalan given that the largest part of the production money came from a Catalan production company. This article aims to scrutinize various systems of classification and thought that try to delineate ownership and national identity of the film. It does so in an attempt to suggest additional or alternative guidelines to determine the nationality of a film. The systems examined include: the ACC’s guidelines for participation in the Gaudí Awards, scholarly contributions with regards to national narratives and national cinema, the press’s portrayal of the film, public opinion, and interviews with Berger.

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MONROE, MOLLY E.