February 02, 2007

Who's Labyrinth?

I don't quite understand why the English title of El Laberinto del Fauno -- literally The Labyrinth of the Faun -- is Pan's Labyrinth. The faun in the movie doesn't seem to specifically be Pan (or Faunus, his Roman-mythology counterpart). And it's not like no one knows what a faun is, after the box office splash that Chronicles of Narnia made.

Anyway, I really liked the movie. Given the setting -- Spain in 1944, where Francoists are still hunting Republican holdouts in the hinterlands five years after the "end" of the civil war -- it made me think about what would have happened if the Spanish Civil War went the other way. It's possible that Spain would have spent the mid-twentieth century like the rest of Western Europe, as a democracy with a socialist-dominated politics. On the other hand, it might very well have been a Soviet satellite; anti-Stalinist Republicans were often killed by their own side, after all. Given the political history of what James Bennett has refered to as the Hispanosphere, the Communist tyranny route seems somewhat more likely. This guy agrees, but with an interesting twist: "In sum, then, a Loyalist victory in the Spanish Civil War could have lost the Allies the Second World War."

Posted by John Tabin at February 2, 2007 03:38 AM