Entering the Labyrinth of Ethics in Guillermo del Toro’s El laberinto del fauno
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Place of publicationCham
SourceThe Palgrave Handbook of Children's Film and Television
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This chapter explores the implications of privileging the child protagonist’s perspective in Guillermo del Toro’s film, El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth), a film that embeds itself in the history of children’s fantasy narratives. Ofelia, the protagonist, poses a radical challenge to the (adult) viewer in her response to human and nonhuman nature and the existence of evil. Ofelia moves between two juxtaposed but increasingly intertwined worlds: 1944 Spain and a nonhuman immortal realm. The ambiguous ending gives viewers the opportunity to either suspend belief in a rational world or to negate the child’s perspective. Bringing together ethical philosophy (Badiou), literary theory (Todorov), and aesthetics (Rancière), this chapter explores the stakes in the viewer’s visual stance.