The exile of the better part of the intellectuals and the restrictions imposed by the new regime created an interim from which Spain gradually recovered. The country's intellectuals in exile were extraordinary active in their undertaking of transmitting Spanish culture: Francisco Ayala, Ramon J. Sender, Max Aub, Gil Albert or Pau Cassals are outstanding examples.
Within Spain two opposing movements came into being. Some intellectuals were totally integrated into the Francoist political system, while others developed their intellectual or artistic activities as a form of resistance.
The more aesthetical poetry of Luis Rosales, leopoldo Panero, gave way to the social realism of Blas de Otero, Gabriel Celaya, Jose Hierro, Carlos Bousono or to the reassertion of nationalist or avant-garde movements such as the poetry of Salvador Espriu and the group of the 'novisimos' with Barral and Castellet at its centre.
The theatre in the 1940s, fundamented in traditional values, began to shift at first towards the absurd comedy of Jardiel Poncela, Miguel Mihura and Edgar Neville. Later, Buero Vallejo and Alfonso Sastre introduced politically and socially committed drama.
The novel slowly recovered and focused on holding up to the reader an X-ray of the times: Camilo Jose Cela, Luis Martin Santos, Torrente Basllester, Miguel Delibes, Carmen Laforet, Sanchez Ferlosio, Fernandez Santos and Juan Goytisolo shaped a generation of narrators who cultivated a set of new values. Cela's 'La Familia de Pascual Duarte' and Laforet's 'Nada' are considered the most outstanding novels of that period.
In the plastic arts there was a movement of renovation of pictoric abstraction: Tapies, Saura, Canogar, Miralles, Guinovart, that later advanced towards critical realism -Genoves- and to pop art with Equipo Cronica. In sculpture, the study of forms and volumes are constants in the work of such artists as Chillida and Oteiza.
With regards to the aforementioned opposing movements, over three decades (1940-70) of time the film industry followed different directions. The 'imperial' style cinema represented by CIFESA soon yielded to a more committed cinema represented by Bardem and Berlanga, and later by Saura and Bunuel's last productions.
The recovery of democracy presupposed a new period for Spanish culture that, after four long decades, has been freed of its bonds and has fully recuperated its possibilities of external communication and its connections with the public. Since 1978 a decade has sufficed for Spanish culture to regain a vitality in which it is easy to sense the joy of freedom.
Today the cultural policy carried out by the Spanish authorities is centred on the support of creativity and on the creation of infrastructure.