The end of romance
La flor de mi secreto
in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
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La flor de mi secreto is neither an aesthetic break from previous work nor the end of Almodóvar’s exploration of taboos and social boundaries. The film’s aesthetic and dramatic tone departs from the films preceding it, but it is not as dramatic a change in direction as many critics believe. In fact, in this tragicomedy there are as many satirical targets as in previous and later work: a couple trying to perform traditional gender roles, the military’s new image as protecting human rights, and the ruling socialist government, which was then eroding workers’ rights. La flor is a subtle poisoned dart satirising contemporary Spain’s over-confident self-image in the 1990s. Other important issues discussed in this chapter include the role of the countryside, gender performativity, and Spanish identity as shaped by Romantic orientalist folklore.

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