The movie is a splendid condemnation of excessive militarism, where-ever it appears, not only in Spain. Limiting its significance to the time and place where the action is located is limiting to the message which is much more general than presenting the philosophy of one of the belligerents in the Spanish Civil War. The tragedy of this civil war is that it was not a fight between good and evil. Both sides were equally brutal and numerous accounts prove that atrocities have been committed by both sides. Having a choice between 40 years of fascist rule or 50 rules of communist rule is not having a choice at all. The participants could not have known, what we know now, that the comparing the rule of the Franco regime in Spain with the communist rule in Eastern Europe, which started less than ten years after the Spanish Civil war, communism was not only more brutal than fascism but also more destructive, as it is more difficult for the Eastern European countries than it was for Spain to recover.
However, in this context, the question arises, assuming colonel Masagual was initially an intelligent and lucid person, if he was not driven to his drug addiction and his destructive "Weltanschauung" just because he was caught in the middle of a war between equally negative forces and having no rational option. It it not proven that the war was due to people like Masagual and it is equally possible that people were driven to madness and despair just because of the war where there was no good alternative to fight for.
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