The Girl With the Golden Panties

Past and present are intertwined in Vicente Aranda?s 1979 Spanish film about the self-deception of the Franco era. A retired bureaucrat is writing his memoirs at a seaside villa when his young niece (Victoria Abril), an amoral, sexually voracious flower child, shows up and wreaks havoc with his memories of the past. Aranda loads the narrative with kinky sex and politically charged incidents from the 40s, but the connections between the two are less convincing than in his civil war epics. Aranda equates the old man?s repressed lust with the way he whitewashes his early dalliances with fascism; typical of Spain?s old guard, the man maintains a facade of genteel respectability while recasting old sins as acts of patriotism.

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