While WWII Raged, This Was Spain
TITLE: Pan's Labyrinth
GENRE: Historical/Fantasy Spanish with subtitles
CAST: Some proficient spanish actors we'll probably never see in english speaking films and I can't make out their names on the case.
PLOT: The effects of war (Spanish Civil) on a young girl's mind. This movie is promoted as a fantasy but it is most emphatically an expression of the horrors and brutallity of Generalissimo Francisco Franco's Espana. I have first hand knowledge of the gardia civil's inhuman rule over it's people. They beat me up, cracked two ribs and severed nerves to my thumb at the wrist. They were very highly trained to inflict unnoticable damage to the body. This happened to me in 1973. Okay, movie, ah, girl and pregger mom are taken off to the hills to be with girl's step father as he brutally tries to squash the remains of the opposition to Franco's victory. In the stark and bare surroundings of the military bivuoac, the girl imagines fairies and fawns and little girl princess dreams. The step father does his nicest imitation of his German cohort Doctor Death Mengele.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9 of 10; This movie is the cinematographic equivalent to Picasso's Guernica. Where Picasso shone light on the horror of aerial bombardment, this film captures the inhumanity to man I described above by fascist control demons. There are some extremely grotesque expressions of torture. Why the movie is (in the USA anyway) promoted as an "adult fantasy" is also grotesque. It is an historically based tale with the fantasy thrown in as a contre-temps to bizarrely increase the impact of the cruelness,
DVD BONUS: Maybe it's there, I didn't go back in to search it out. There should have been a warning:"If you have recently watched David Bowie's Labyrinth, do not watch this one. they're different and we mean different". But it is a 9/10 to show what the men in the patent leather hats were