We are showing this film as the second in our Children in European Gothic Cinema season, following on from The Innocents shown in March. The film will be introduced and there will be discussion afterwards.
The film is one of the greatest of all fantasy films, even though it is anchored so firmly in the reality of war. It is set in 1944, in Franco’s Spain, and there is much cruelty in the film, mainly in the person of Capitan Vidal, the brutal soldier who is searching for the anti-Franco rebels. He is the wicked stepfather of Ofelia, who discovers a parallel world of fauns and fantasies, equally dangerous to the one she inhabits with her mother and stepfather.
It is a film of tremendous impact and intensity because it it brings the world of fantasy so close to the surface and we are invited to see, through Ofelia’s eyes, how close these worlds are in our minds. It is also visually stunning and deserves to be seen on the big screen, again and again.
The film won 87 awards, including Oscars for Best Cinematography, Art Design and Makeup and a BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall