Title

The Pluralistic Family in Almodóvar’s All about My Mother

Presenter Information

Faith HaleyFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Spanish with a Teaching Certification / Nonprofit Leadership

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Tanya Romero-Gonzalez

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

This essay examines Pedro Almodóvar’s film, All about My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre), to analyze how the concept of family in Spain has shifted since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. One of the core values of his regime was the sanctity of family and the woman as the Mother of the nation. Family was an important, social institution subject to laws and regulations that imposed the patriarchal structure. Almodóvar uses film, a medium once used mainly for propaganda, to reclaim and represent the family as a pluralistic unit, capable of existing in many forms. While he is widely considered a feminist director, I argue that Almodóvar claims that the most important aspect of the feminine life is motherhood and care-giving. He does not seek to abolish the family unit entirely, but rather to redefine it. To illustrate this, I will analyze the different relationships throughout the film, particularly as they relate to the protagonist, Manuela, and her journey of motherhood. Furthermore, I will compare the cultural message of the film with what has occurred in real, post-Franco Spain. Almodóvar’s artistic representation of Spain invites his audience to reconsider the meaning of family, regardless of biological connection or lack thereof.

Fall Scholars Week 2018 Event

GLT 400

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The Pluralistic Family in Almodóvar’s All about My Mother

This essay examines Pedro Almodóvar’s film, All about My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre), to analyze how the concept of family in Spain has shifted since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. One of the core values of his regime was the sanctity of family and the woman as the Mother of the nation. Family was an important, social institution subject to laws and regulations that imposed the patriarchal structure. Almodóvar uses film, a medium once used mainly for propaganda, to reclaim and represent the family as a pluralistic unit, capable of existing in many forms. While he is widely considered a feminist director, I argue that Almodóvar claims that the most important aspect of the feminine life is motherhood and care-giving. He does not seek to abolish the family unit entirely, but rather to redefine it. To illustrate this, I will analyze the different relationships throughout the film, particularly as they relate to the protagonist, Manuela, and her journey of motherhood. Furthermore, I will compare the cultural message of the film with what has occurred in real, post-Franco Spain. Almodóvar’s artistic representation of Spain invites his audience to reconsider the meaning of family, regardless of biological connection or lack thereof.