Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Stephanie Mueller




Spain, Catalonia, nationalism


This thesis examines two films for their critique on the damaging effects of nationalism on both the native and foreign populations in rural Spain and urban Catalonia. The two films are Flores de otro mundo (Flowers from another world) (1999), directed by Spanish director Iciar Bollain, and Forasters (Outsiders) (2008), a film by Catalan director Ventura Pons, based on Sergi Belbel's play. The theoretical framework for this study is based on Michael Billig's terms: "hot" and "banal" nationalism. According to Billig, nationalism itself is the emotional and mental force that creates nation-states or threatens the stability of pre-existing nations. "Hot" nationalism occurs in emotional outbreaks of passion for the nation-state, especially when the social norms of the state are threatened by outsiders, or when a nation is seeking statehood. "Banal" nationalism is comprised of ordinary daily routines that occur naturally and do not take the form of emotional outbreaks, but rather help maintain order and social norms for the nation. "Banal" nationalism occurs naturally unconsciously and is part of the everyday routine of the nation. "Banal" nationalism is less extreme, however, just as toxic towards the foreign and native populations. In this thesis "hot" nationalism is used to describe the nationalistic feeling in urban Catalonia as depicted in Forasters, whereas "banal" nationalism is used to explain the nationalistic atmosphere in rural Spain as depicted in Flores de otro mundo. In my interpretation, these films portray both forms of nationalism as toxic, because they embrace discrimination prejudice and exclusion of the foreigner in rural Spain and urban Catalonia. The two films comment on how both forms of nationalism are toxic towards both the immigrant and native communities via a fictitious Spanish community and female Caribbean immigrant characters in Flores de otro mundo and via a Catalan family of three generations and male migrants and immigrants in Forasters.