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Overwhelming, time-consuming, but oh-so beautiful and informative! Worth the effort!
The only real reason I give this excellent documentary an 8 is because Julio Medem was unable to get the key players in the conflict, ETA and PP, to participate, which I felt was a crucial loss to the movie. Also, it was a LOT of information to process, and although I watched it with English subtitles, I had to replay scenes very often.
I had only some very shallow, not even basic, knowledge of the Basque conflict before watching this. I am studying abroad in Spain, and a professor here recommended this, and I wanted to learn more. I didn't even bother testing my Spanish and watched it in English to understand it the best. Even then, it is not a movie made for beginners. But beginner or not, I still recommend this movie to anyone interested, just as long as they read up a little on the Basque Country and Spanish political parties first as background info.
However, despite the confusion and incomplete variety of interviewees, as a journalism student, I say the documentary was beautifully, intriguingly, insightfully, and ingeniously done. Even though it was confusing, it was INCREDIBLY informative, and my goal of learning more about the history, culture, and conflict in the region was met and surpassed. It was deemed very controversial for showing such an array of perspectives, but I felt this was best and very raw and as objective as one can get, especially for a Basque director. And despite the crazy amount of information, it still kept me glued to the screen.
The artistic aspect was brilliant, too, especially for an independent film. I really loved the flip flop, from interviews in beautiful Basque landscapes to clips of the metaphoric pelota vasca to the old black-and-white film by Orson Welles to clips of old historical videos to Mikel Laboa crooning his sometimes beautifully melodic and sometimes strikingly dissonant music. I want to especially applaud the music: it is absolutely stunning and perfect!
I highly recommend this documentary.
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