El Dorado (Carlos Saura, 1987)
The keys to El Dorado
in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
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Following Francisco Franco's death in 1975, Carlos Saura's cinema, characterised by a tendency towards political allegory and an unmistakable resistance to the dictatorship, opened up in new directions. This chapter deals with his 1987 film El Dorado, a film which displays characteristics previously absent in Saura's cinema. It demonstrates a strong degree of political engagement that crucially links the film to his earlier oeuvre. Sociopolitical inquiry has remained central to Saura's filmmaking. El Dorado is a polyvalent work that combines historical revision of Spain's imperial past with considerations of a broader cultural legacy that has resonances and implications for mid-1980s Spain (and indeed Europe). Longstanding personal preoccupations, including some of a very intimate kind, also lie behind the film. The keys to appreciating El Dorado are multiple, ranging from the historical and cinematic traditions to the contemporary moment, and Saura's own family history.

Spanish cinema 1973–2010

Auteurism, politics, landscape and memory

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