The film “Pan’s Labyrinth” is a cinematic masterpiece of 2006, directed and written by Guillermo del Toro. Although the film is considered partly within the fantasy genre, several of the themes within the film reflect certain historical realities of post-civil war Spain. Themes of reality versus fantasy, gender roles, and children and war are developed within the film. Pan’s Labyrinth takes place during the Francoist period of 1944 and follows the young main character, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), through the many changes that she experiences following the death of her father in the war.
The story is told from the point of view of a child (representing innocence); the state of the child’s future is dependent upon the adults before her, and she must bear the consequences of their choices. Ofelia is a young girl who is fascinated with fairy tales, and is constantly reading. The film begins by describing the tale of Princess Moanna, one of the fairy tale books that Ofelia is reading. The story explains that the princess’s father is the king of the underworld, and she eventually becomes curious about the world above.
Thus, she decides to leave her underworld home. However, when she leaves the world below, she dies. The story of Princess Moanna was known as a popular myth; it was believed that her spirit would someday come back to the earth in human form and she would return to her father in the underworld. After describing the tale of Princess Moanna, the film abruptly flashes back to Ofelia’s reality. Ofelia is traveling with her pregnant mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), who is bringing Ofelia to live in the home of her new stepfather (Vidal) who is the father of Carmen’s unborn child. *
Running Head: Suffrage of Children without Fathers Suffrage of Children without Fathers (Authors Name) (Institution Name) Suffrage of Children without Fathers We shall begin this essay with the shocking fact that nearly 50 percent of American children may in our present times be going to sleep every evening without saying good night to their fathers. The declining factor of fatherhood is amongst ...
Vidal is the captain of the Spanish army and wants his son to be born into a “new and clean Spain”; he is a fascist leader who tortures and brutally kills rebels. Vidal’s authoritarian leadership style in war also translates into his personal relationships with Carmen, Ofelia, and his workers (such as Mercedes).
Vidal does not respect the rights of women, and believes that a woman’s purpose is to serve men; within all of his relationships, Vidal’s orders are abided solely out of fear of what will happen if he is disobeyed. Regardless of Vidal’s hostility, Carmen only wishes to please him.
After Ofelia and Carmen arrive to Vidal’s home, Ofelia encounters a stick-like insect that leads her to a mysterious labyrinth within the woods. Ofelia later discovers that this insect is disguised as a fairy, and it introduces her to a faun who lives inside the labyrinth. The faun believes that Ofelia embodies the spirit of Princess Moanna, and gives her 3 tasks to complete (before the full moon) in order to determine this. Ofelia becomes consumed by fantasy in attempt to successfully complete the tasks, and grows distant from her mother and reality until she is forced to face it. Ofelia’s reality and fantasy collide when the faun instructs her to place a mandrake root beneath the bed of her mother in order to ease the suffering of her painful pregnancy. However, Vidal discovers the mandrake root and immediately throws it into the fireplace. Carmen dies as the mandrake root burns in the fire, but her son survives birth. * Meanwhile, the faun instructs Ofelia to bring her baby brother into the labyrinth; in order to open the underworld portal, the blood of an innocent must be used.
Ofelia tells the faun that she will not hurt her brother, however Vidal interferes when he appears in the labyrinth, takes the child, and kills Ofelia. Ofelia’s innocent blood spills into the portal, causing it to open; she is lead to the king of the underworld, and discovers that by choosing to shed her own blood instead of the blood of an innocent, she had successfully completed the final task. By doing this, Ofelia has proved that she is Princess Moanna. * * In conclusion, themes of reality versus fantasy, gender roles, and children and war are developed within the film.
The American Revolution The American War was fought from 1776 to 1778 but the Revolution occurred much before the war. John Adams best described the revolution when he said: "But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people… This radical change in the ...
The paradox between “what is real and what is not” is present within the characters and the story itself. Gender roles of the time period are also addressed, specifically through Vidal’s character and his relations with the women around him. The concept of children and war is presented to the audience through the main character of the film, Ofelia. Within the film, Guillermo del Toro manages to create a world of cinematic fantasy while also portraying important themes that were historically present in post-civil war Spain.