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Alex de la Iglesia’s film ‘La comunidad’ examines the incomplete and conflictive transition from Franquista social values and economic models to the cultural values of democratic post-Franquista (postmodern) Spain. Through the dialogue that the director establishes between different cultural and filmic traditions, as well as through the relation between narratives elements in the film and contemporary social issues such as the “common graves” of Franquismo and the “disappeared”, ‘La comunidad’ analyzes the notion of a centered community as a constant tension between past and present, between old and new Spain, in which the specters of the past haunt the present through the reproduction of violence within this contemporary new Spain. This paper focuses on the film’s delirious, hilarious, and violent representation of Madrid’s “central location”, the affects and violence that forge the terms of that center’s forms of internal organization, the monumental Madrid of the Post Office building and its networks of communication, and the presence of opposing economic systems (the feudalism of the notion of ‘inheritance’, the popular obsession with the ‘soccer pools’, and the postmodern world of value as implied in the films’ representation of the real estate industry, along with the precariousness of flexible labor), in order to highlight the traces of a Franquista past that, through a recuperation of the grotesque, communicates with and invades the cultural representation of a history that is said to have surpassed and successfully forgotten the cultural values of the country’s past.
Through the concepts of non-contemporaneity and anamorphosis, this essay analyzes the peculiar temporality represented in the film, and studies the madness and violence that underlies the concept of ‘center’, which has been so important to the construction of Spanish nationalism and which remains, perhaps in unconscious form, one of the dominant narratives of post-dictatorship Spain