17 July 2008

Spanish Civil War

Last summer I taught part of a studio in Spain and kept finding myself become more and more interested in the Spanish Civil War. It came up in unexpected places and the brutality was surprising. Stories of the bombings and shootings are sad, but little things like destroying Gaudi's studio at Sagrada Familia out of spite were clearer demonstrations of how deeply the feelings were seeded. It was also very contemporary, but without the grand storybook feeling of WWII.

The war began on this date in 1936. In commemoration, Slate.com has posted an emotional set of Magnum photos from the Spanish Civil War. I have to admit that despite its quite fictional content, del Toro's The Devil's Backbone really helped me begin to imagine the period better. Although it was later, 1944, the depiction of that period in his Pan's Labyrinth was pretty interesting, too. But in truth I should just rent For Whom the Bell Tolls.

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