Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth is a bit dark, but also rich.

It's About the Spanish Civil War AND about a young girl fighting to discover what's really real for her. As the fascists battle the commies in the hills, there is a slam against the commies that is really a reverse slam against religion. Communist rebels are apprehended with some "there's no god" brochures, and are chided for having "red' propaganda. But, the commies are clearly the good guys/underdogs.

Meanwhile, this little girl who is miserable (her father died, her step dad is hateful - a fascist captain yet) loves fairy tales and just happens to have an encounter with fairies and a faun and a monster or two. It doesn't end well for our friend, but she ends up in a magical afterlife kingdom (the "Underworld"), leaving us with the question (foreshadowed by the "red" propaganda), "Is she really in an after life, fairy wonderland, or is she hallucinating with her last moments of consciousness?" And, of course, once we allow ourselves to ask that question, the natural next step is to question the after life myths that comfort us during our fearful and difficult moments in life. Is it real, or is delusion?

So - anything that makes the Lefties look good and that uses artful mythology and makes you think - I have to give a thumbs up.

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