Ana María Sánchez-Arce
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Remembering children
Todo sobre mi madre
in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
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This chapter explores Almodóvar’s preoccupation with memory of a personal and a historical nature through the analysis of Todo sobre mi madre, a film that is a memory text containing other memory texts such as photographs. Repression and censorship of the main character’s past functions allegorically to explore censorship of the history in a process institutionally supported by the Spanish 1977 Amnesty Law, also known as the pact of oblivion. The film also uses other abuses of Human Rights, for example in Argentina, to explore the Spanish Civil War and post-war trauma. It gives pre-eminence to the point of view of a young generation of Spaniards (the dead son) in its re-creation of memory through artistic re-imagination. The chapter further suggests that this is Almodóvar’s first historical look at the marginal lives of the LGBTQ+ community in the Spain of the Transition and beyond. However, this is a melodrama that resolves issues in a positive way for cis women at the expense of LGBTQ+ characters.

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