The end of For Whom the Bell Tolls—now that’s a way to bite the dust! You detonate the bridge, get blown off your horse, and hold off the fascists while your Spanish sexpot girlfriend—maybe played by Ingrid Bergman in bronzeface—beats feet. “No, don’t stay,” you mutter, your heart beating against the pine-needle floor of the forest. “Where you go, I go, too.” Bare flesh against the soulless machines of war! Camaraderie in the face of imminent doom! Both far preferable to a banal suburban demise brought on by, say, arteriosclerosis. Of course, there was more to the Spanish Civil War than Hemingway’s macho fantasy. AFI’s upcoming film series “Cinema and the Spanish Civil War” offers some less guy-centric perspectives, too. There’s Spirit of the Beehive (1973), about growing up amid the horrors of war. And Demons in the Garden (1982), about how even in the midst of war, family can still be a pain in the ass. But there’s plenty of bromance, too, honestly portrayed in films like Land of Freedom (1996) and the documentary The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (1984). And, of course, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), wherein you get down with Gary Cooper and feel your heart beat against those pine needles.
The series runs Sept. 4–22 at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. For full listings, visit afi.com/silver.