Fernando Arrabal

Fernando Arrabal – L’arbre de Guernica AKA The Guernica Tree (1975)

The Spanish Civil War, as experienced by the town of Villa Ramiro. The local count and his Fascist nephews ally with the rebels; the count’s son, indifferent to politics at the outset, later makes a choice; the town’s teacher, Antonio Garcia, a pacifist, tries not to take sides but to inspire the children with ideas; a beautiful eccentric woman, Vandale, brings leadership and strength to the town; dwarfs long for equality. The fictive story of Villa Ramiro is inter-cut with archival footage of the war itself. The town is near Guernica, and the local Republicans draw inspiration from its freedom tree. Read More »

Fernando Arrabal – Viva la muerte AKA Long Live Death (1971)

At the end of the Spanish civil war, Fando, a boy of about ten, tries to make sense of war and his father’s arrest. His mother is religious, sympathetic to the Fascists; his father is accused of being a Red. Fando discovers that his mother may have aided in his father’s arrest. Sometimes we witness Fando imagining explanations for what’s going on; sometimes we see him at play, alone or with his friend Thérèse. Oedipal fantasies and a lad’s natural curiosity about sex and death mix with his search for his mother’s nature and his father’s fate. Will Fando survive the search? Read More »

Fernando Arrabal – L’Arbre de Guernica AKA The Tree of Guernica [+ Extras] (1975)

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Cult Epics wrote:
Civil war is an act of cannibalism. It is the rending of a nation’s own flesh, the final act in a spiral of devolution towards base subversion. It is brother vs. brother, mother vs. father. It is as psychologically traumatizing as it is physically brutal and the scars left by a civil war don’t heal clean, they arre ragged, gaping wounds that fester and bloom. In Spain, the wounds of civil war sprouted around a single tree: the Guernica Tree. Read More »