Set in a dark Spanish forest in a very dark time — 1944, when Spain was still in the early stages of the fascist nightmare from which the rest of Europe was painfully starting to awaken — "Pan's Labyrinth" is a political fable in the guise of a fairy tale. Or maybe it's the other way around. Does the moral structure of the children's story, with its clearly marked poles of good and evil, its narrative of dispossession and vindication, illuminate the nature of authoritarian rule? Or does the movie reveal fascism as a terrible fairy tale brought to life?Read More
The brilliance of "Pan's Labyrinth," which is being released worldwide through May, is that its current of imaginative energy runs both ways. If this is magic realism, it is also the work of a real magician. The director, Guillermo del Toro, unapologetically swears allegiance to a pop-fantasy tradition that encompasses comic books, science fiction and horror movies, but fan-boy pastiche is the last thing on his mind. He is also a thoroughgoing cinephile, steeped in classical technique and film history.
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Latin American Cinema