At the outbreak of the SCW in 36, Buñuel and other directors emigrated to Mexico. During the CW the Spanish film industry established a technical and distribution network capable of being transformed by the two opposing sides into production of news-reels and war documentaries.
After CW, there was a ‘political’ cinema based on myth which achieved the state of appearing to be a natural order, a status quo. HISTORY TRANSFORMED INTO MYTH BECOMES DISTORTED AND DUPLICITOUS IN ORDER TO SERVE NOT FACT OR AUTHENTICITY, OR EVEN THE DEMANDS OF THE BOX OFFICE, BUT AN INTENTION TO FORCE ACCEPTANCE OF MILITARY DICTATORSHIP
Film censorship of the Franco era lasted longer than anywhere else in W.Europe. All opposition voices were banned, no newsreels, documentaries or fiction films seeming to favor ideas opposed by the regime were seen by the public. During the 1950s the only genres acceptable to the Franco government were war epics and historical extravaganzas celebrating the glories of Spain´s colonial past in images of patriotism, militarism, and religious heroism; that is the same values held by those who won the Spanish Civil War.
Censorship lasted so long that young filmmakers had to develop a ‘counter myth’ - ESTETICA FRANQUISTA devised by Berlanga and Bardem - highly metaphorical and convoluted syntax, not immediately decipherable by censors. Analogy, pastiche, allusion, and inference.
Franco´s death November 20, 1975, Spain has undergone transition from half-century of dictatorship to modern democratic monarchy. Took a long time - divorce laws etc.
Spanish film of the transition period released an initial burst of political satire.
Franco´s censors set to work in 1937. Reflected Italy - rebates to film producers according to their box-office earnings. No foreign films. Controlled newsreels and documentaries. 1940 - obligatory dubbing - Vos illegal unless first dubbed. Also regional languages. 1942 - established NODO, the state monopoly of news and documentary film. Granting of import and dubbing licensed to Spanish producers according to the ‘quality’ of each film. So weak cinema - conventional vehicle for fascist mythology.
1944 - Películas de interés nacional’
1946 - UN withdrew embassies from Spain. Following year, national referendum, Spain declared itself a monarchy. Established a law of succession. Dubbing no longer obligatory. But Spaniards still protected from reality - no beach scene in ‘From Here to Eternity’.
1959 - Saura ‘Los Golfos’. Banned four times before condemned by a 2B rating. Shown at Cannes Film Festival and gained international recognition. 1960 - new official committee was selected to choose the films that would represent Spain at international festivals.
1961- success of Viridiana. Won Palma de Oro. Not shown in Spain for 16 years.
1963 - Escudero - director of Cinematografía y Teatro, insisted that criteria of censorship be spelled out. List of banned topics
Subjects favouring DIVORCE, ABORTION, EUTHANASIA, BIRTH CONTROL
Those justifying ADULTERY, PROSTITUTION AND ILLICIT SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR.
73-74 - considerable political unrest in Spain. Carrero Blanco - president - assassinated
Censorship was the central fact of cultural life in Spain for 38 years. Because of it, most Spanish artists, writers etc were forced to live and work abroad to fully develop their thought. Film did not disappear but developed distortions.