Del Toro’s un-fairy tale

Further notes to stir your thinking: Del Toro’s un-fairy tale ending problematizes any clear-cut way to read the film. Ofelia dies, and while the narration suggests she returns to her homeland (and her royal family) after proving herself worthy, the image of Mercedes as she looks on Ofelia’s dead body and how she reacts to El Capitan’s pleas for his baby boy still linger.
Is Del Toro’s film an allegory where imagination triumphs over fascism, or a fairy tale that cannot escape the fascist reign of violence that envelops it?
Is Cocteau’s film an allegory where the poet’s imagination triumphs over the humdrum of daily life, bringing new forms and energy into the world, or a dark fairy tale about domesticity, marriage, and the boundaries of love and death?
Is it possible, as Spicer argues in one of his letters to Garcia Lorca, that poetry is something unexplained—like a place in a map that says that after this is desert. A shorthand to admit the unknown? That allows the poet to bring objects across language(s) and time?

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