La noche de los girasoles/The Night of the Sunflowers (Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, 2006)
Palimpsests of genre, palimpsests of violence
in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
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Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo's La noche de los girasoles/The Night of the Sunflowers provides an archaeology of Spain's rural memory, where the rural emerges as traces of a violent and monstrous nightmare, which haunt the urban consciousness. This chapter shows that this tension is played out in the complex representation of landscape in the film. The landscape is primarily one of loss, trauma and fragmentation: it registers a nation unable to reconcile itself with its recent rural past and articulates a greater desire to nurture and preserve a way of life that is fast disappearing in the present. The discussion of the film contributes towards our understanding of the contemporary shifting structures of rural Spain, and its increasingly complex location in the national imaginary. The legacy of the rural genre appears to haunt the film and to find its most vivid expression in its representation of violence and landscape.

Spanish cinema 1973–2010

Auteurism, politics, landscape and memory

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