Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Ideas

As we all know by now, Spaniards openly reject new ideas, that is why they have been so slow in getting the grasp of concepts like justice, democracy, law, self-determination, freedom and many others that define modern societies.

Back in 2003 the Spanish establishment, including of course the news outlets (main stream media) launched itself against a documentary called "The Basque Ball : The Skin Against the Wall" by Basque film maker Julio Medem. They unleashed a campaign of hateful lies and misconceptions against a director that had been courageous enough to leave aside the fame he obtained thanks to his movie "Sex and Lucia" to tackle the issue of the Basque struggle for peace and self-determination. He invited people on both sides of the issue to freely expose their reason to be for or against the Basque people's will to decide its own future. Hypocrites as always, the members of the pro-Franco Partido Popular (PP) first refused the invitation to participate in the film to then insist that their voiced had been silenced with this documentary.

Well, the Spanish media is back at demonizing a movie director for dearing to address the issue of ETA from a perspective that is different to that of the Spanish extreme-right.

Here you have an article regarding this appeared at Yahoo News:

San Sebastian festival tackles ETA in film which divides critics

by Virginie Grognou
Tue Sep 23, 6:34 PM ET

The armed campaign by the Basque separatist group ETA came to the San Sebastian film festival Tuesday with the screening of "Shot in the Head", a film which had critics sharply divided.

The third feature of Spanish director Jaime Rosales had been anxiously awaited at the festival in the Basque city following the news of three ETA car-bombings in Spain at the weekend, which left one soldier dead and 11 people wounded.

"Tiro en la cabeza", ("Shot in the Head"), filmed in just two weeks, tells the true life story of two Spanish policeman who were killed by ETA gunmen in southwest France last December.

"I wanted to show that there is nothing more absurd than people killing each other for ideological reasons. It is a film about the absurdity of violence," Rosales told a news conference.

But the filmmaker took a huge risk in deciding to shoot to the film without any dialogue at all.

The viewer can see the characters speaking, but only hears the background noises, mostly cars, in a novel technique that left many frustrated, even bored.

Rosales shows the "normal" life of a member of ETA, Ion, played by a Basque actor, Ion Arretxe, with his family, but which ends when he kills one of the policeman with a shot to the head.

The film left journalists at the festival divided, with some criticizing his "ambiguous" vision of the Basque problem and over-sympathetic portrayal of the ETA killer, and others hailing his courage in taking an artistic risk.

The director defended the film by saying he "simply wanted to bring new ideas."

Somehow it reminds me of "The Battle of Algiers". Hopefully it will be screened all over the world.

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