Pan's Labyrinth and Requiem for a Spanish Peasant
Réquiem por un campesino español y El laberinto del fauno, the darkness of humanity
For this paper, focus on Réquiem por un campesino español and El laberinto del fauno, particularly the underlying themes presented in both and the interesting ways the author and the director present these ideas. There are underlying similar themes in both Del Toro’s film and Sender’s novel. For example, the effects of the civil war, the value of fearlessness and fighting for a just cause (Paco and Ofelia). Particularly interesting in both the film and the book is the representation of religion (Christianity, Catholicism, the Church). In the film there is a scene with a priest who states:
“The essence of [God's] forgiveness lies in His word and in His mystery. Because although God sends us the message, it is our task to decipher it. Because when we open our arms, the earth takes in only a hollow and senseless shell. Far away now is the soul in its eternal glory. Because it is in pain that we find the meaning of life and the state of grace that we lose when we are born. Because God in His infinite wisdom puts the solution in our hands. And because it is only in His physical presence that the place He occupies in our souls is reaffirmed."
Further analyze the religious aspects of the film and compare them to mosén Millán and his view of how things should be in the town, and if his ideas could give more insight into why he decided to turn Paco in to the authorities. There is also a scene in the film in which a priest is dining at the table of the captain (facism). This can also be compared to mosén Millán and his inability to make a definitive judgment. A comparison can also be made with Ofelia and mosén Millan (la iglesia española) as true believers of “fantasy”, in this case meaning the Christian and his idealized vision of a utopian afterlife which leaves him at odds with this world. Someone in class mentioned how things seemed to be a game for mosén Millán when he was trying to demonstrate how he could keep Paco’s whereabouts a secret.
While doing an online search I also found an excerpt from an interview with Guillermo del Toro which I found interesting and would like to use in my paper but would like to verify if it is an actual quote. It may be on the dvd in the director’s commentary, I have not had the opportunity to check.
In a recent interview, Del Toro says, "The Pale Man represents the Church for me, y'know? [He] represents fascism and the Church eating the children when they have a perversely abundant banquet in front of them. There is almost a hunger to eat innocence. A hunger to eat purity." The depiction of the Church as a pale, child-eating monster is one of the more disgusting demonizations of the true Church I've ever come across.