Trash & Treasures: The Devil’s Backbone


I adore Pan’s Labyrinth, but this film deserves a comparable amount of time in the spotlight.

Hey, do you like stories about ghosts that are actually metaphors for a nation’s inability to learn from its past trauma, leading to future horrors? Well, GOOD NEWS.
We continue our month of international horror with Guillermo Del Toro’s 2001 film The Devil’s Backbone, a gorgeous and poignant ghost story that just got a very fancy Criterion release. Join us for wailing about the themes, the A+ effects; and yes, more fucked-up production details.

Legacies of trauma in Del Toro’s work

Visual analysis of the film

CONTENT WARNING for discussion of child death, child abuse (physical and sexual), gore, body horror, abjection of disability, and war crimes

1:00 Background
7:00 The Plot
10:00 “What is a Ghost”
16:00 A Brutal Setting
21:00 The Literary Grotesque
27:00 Santi
31:00 Homage to the Gothic
36:00 Them Effects
39:00 You’ll Never Leave This Place
42:00 Del Toro’s Mindset
48:00 Should You Watch This

Say hi to Dorothy and Vrai on Twitter @writervrai and @dorothynotgale

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