Paradise Found? Ana / chronic Nostalgia in Belle Epoque

Jose Colmeiro

Resumen


At a first glance, Fernando Trueba's Academy Award winning film Belle Epoque (1992) could be read as a celebration of the regained paradise of absolute freedom, physical beauty and unbound desires. On another level, it could also be seen as a symptomatic result of disillusion with the present, confirming the impossibility of recovering that lost paradise, as well as an effect of the already chronic "historical amnesia" characteristic of post-Franco Spain. These contradictory readings reveal the fissures of two diametrically opposed and dissonant narratives, simultaneously leaning towards the realm of utopian fiction and nostalgic revisionism. It makes us wonder whether Trueba's film brings about the liberation of individual male and female subjectivities and desires, or is it just another "male fantasy".

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