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The war that won't dieThe Spanish Civil War in cinema$
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David Archibald

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078088

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078088.001.0001

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Ghosts of the past: El espinazo del Diablo/The Devil's Backbone

Ghosts of the past: El espinazo del Diablo/The Devil's Backbone

(p.134) 7 Ghosts of the past: El espinazo del Diablo/The Devil's Backbone
The war that won't die

Archibald David

Manchester University Press

Shifting to horror, this chapter deals with how the civil war is represented by the Mexican-born filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, concentrating particularly on El espinazo del Diablo/The Devil's Backbone, presenting a ghost story set in the civil war's closing months, and the relationship between the figure of the ghost and the past. Although by 1995 the civil war had been the subject of numerous Spanish films, even the free-wheeling post-Franco Spanish cinema has been extremely reluctant to tackle some of the thornier issues of the Civil War period. The chapter considers debates about the figure of the ghost in popular culture and its relationship to debates over the historical process, before examining the use of ghosts in this specific film.

Keywords:   Guillermo del Toro, Devil's Backbone, ghost story, post-Franco cinema

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