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Title: Contesting visions : memory and cultural trauma in early post-Civil War Spanish cinema, 1939-1950
Author: Nasu, Madori
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 6819
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is a critical study of Spanish cinema of the 1940s and its relation to the memory politics in early post-Civil War Spain. Despite the increasing interest in the scholarship on modern Spanish literature and cinema about the repressed memories of those who suffered during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and under Francisco Franco's dictatorship (1939-1975), early post-war films have been largely neglected, given the general assumption that they had served essentially as vehicles of Francoist ideology. This thesis, however, complicates this view by concentrating on this less well studied period (1939-1950) of Spanish film history. It provides a close analysis of texts that address questions about memory and trauma that seem symptomatic of early post-war Spain. Among the several films discussed in this thesis, special focus is given to four texts: Vida en sombras (Llorenç Llobet-Gràcia, 1948), Un hombre va por el camino (Manuel Mur Oti, 1949), De mujer a mujer (Luis Lucia, 1950) and La vida en un hilo (Edgar Neville, 1945). The thesis argues that, despite the regime's effort to disseminate a triumphant vision of the war, repress memories inconvenient for the regime, and deny cultural trauma, these filmic texts provide contesting discourses that problematised the dominant politics of memory. Drawing from recent theories of memory and trauma, the thesis demonstrates that even films that might seem unrelated to the Civil War could be read as displacements of cultural trauma. These films tried to work through cultural trauma, yet simultaneously expose the existing rifts in post-war Spanish society. The thesis also discusses the intertextuality of these films, and shows how some of these texts reflexively explored the function of cinema as 'prosthetic memories' that could destabilise or challenge the regime's monolithic vision of the national past and mediate alternative memories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Spanish Cinema ; memory ; trauma ; franquismo