Ana María Sánchez-Arce
Search for other papers by Ana María Sánchez-Arce in
Current site
Google Scholar
in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

Reviewers of Volver were distracted by its autobiographical dimension and local colour, aspects that mask the film's engagement with the silencing of the past, the ramifications of unaddressed trauma, and the specularisation of girls and women in cinema and society in general. Volver employs mother–daughter relationships to critique the persistence of patriarchal structures in contemporary Spain. This chapter analyses repeated intergenerational sexual violence as symptomatic of the persistence of Franco's ideological regime well into the democratic era, arguing that, as with other comedies by Almodóvar, Volver's genre and pop aesthetic disguise these serious topics. The overt comedy, much of it eschatological, performs an act of amelioration and diffusion of painful events by resorting to abjection. Volver’s deceptively simple narrative structure seems a comic relief of sorts within Almodóvar's latter career, but it is both a (historical and biographical) memory object and a screen memory for trauma that contains as complex a take on the haunting of the present by past events as preceding films with seemingly more complex plots.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
  • Top


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 582 256 68
Full Text Views 22 13 0
PDF Downloads 36 22 1