Department or Program



From the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until 1975, Spain was under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. During this time, Franco sought to create an insular and imperialist Spain reminiscent of the era of the Catholic Kings. Franco promoted nationalist sentiment through supposedly distinct “Spanish” cultural traditions, repressing those who opposed or did not fit into his society. Following the dictator’s death in 1975, the city of Madrid experienced a wave of sex, drugs, and rock and roll as it transitioned into democracy—or so it seemed, from the Western world’s perspective. This countercultural movement was known as “La movida madrileña.” It was during this period of time that the internationally renowned director Pedro Almodóvar rose to fame. Almodóvar, who emigrated from the rural, traditional province of La Mancha to Madrid was an active participant during “la movida,” taking part in many artistic acts and establishing himself as a vanguard of the movement. Through filmic analysis of his first 6 films and integration of critical studies of his cinema, my thesis examines Almodóvar’s contribution to Spain’s search for national identity in the wake of Franco’s death. I find that through themes such as the redefinition of Francoist cultural symbols, representations of masculinity, and portrayals of life during “la movida,” Almodóvar presents the new Spain as not too different from the Western world.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Lopez, Francisca

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.