2021 [SPANISH]


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 1521

Keywords:   grief, terrorism, interview, basque country, spain, eta terrorist gang

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 19, 2022 at 11:11 AM


1023.33 MB
Spanish 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 51 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Avid_filmwatcher 8 / 10

A well intentioned approach to a painful story

This film revolves around an extremely sorrowful period of the Spanish history set in the first decade of the 2000´s. It was a time fraught with huge suffering and pain caused by the indiscriminate murders of innocent people by a ruthless terrorist Basque group called ETA.

Iciar Bollain is the female director of this interesting piece of work, who tells the story of Maixabel, a courageous female victim of this mob. Maixabel makes the difficult and controversial decision to arrange a meeting with one of the responsibles for his husband's death at her request so as to tell him how she truly feels.

Iciar succeeds in conveying an honest effort to show respect towards the victims, but she also wants to show how even a horrible monster who has been brainwashed and raised in an extremely toxic environment, is capable of feeling regret and redemption.

One of the things that I liked about the film the most, apart from the solid perfomances of the cast, was the fact that most of the time it is addressed from a perspective which is strictly human and personal. The political or ideological connotations that it might have had, are deliberately overlooked or , in the best of the cases, relegated to a secondary role. In other words, in my opinion it is merely about the internal evolution of two people and their crucial meeting: The exemplary wife whose husband was cowardly killed and his tormented murderer.

All in all, this is a good story told in a generally tactful way which is worth watching despite the fact that there were a few lines of dialogue which made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Recommended.

Reviewed by beckysalass 8 / 10

Strong political drama about reconciliation based on a true story

A sensitive exploration of the emotional fallout of terrorism.

Maixabel Lasa was widowed in 2000 when her husband Juan Maria Jauregui, a progressive former politician, was killed by three gunmen while eating lunch with a friend. Eleven years later, she has agreed to meet two of her husband's murderers as part of a short-lived state program for reconciliation.

The true enemy is never the other side, but rather our hatred of it.

Reviewed by morrison-dylan-fan 10 / 10

"Victimize are those who create victims."

While continuing to sing the tunes from My Heart Goes Boom! (2020-also reviewed), I took a look at the other titles in the line-up of VIVA: The 28th Manchester Spanish & Latin American Cinema Film Festival that were to feature a Q&A,and discovered that the next two were titles looking at the Basque Country during the terrorist attacks of ETA, this led to me meeting Maixabel.

View on the film:

Going deep into the making of the film during a 50 minute Q&A after the screening, co-writer (with Isa Campo) / director Iciar Bollain revealed that before she joined the project, the producers were originally planning this to be a documentary.

Closely working with Julieta (2016-also reviewed) composer Alberto Iglesias, Bollain retains the close-up, unvarnished grain of documentary, smartly using Iglesias's delicate, sparse score in fleeting moments, (with Iglesias not being comfortable about going into the mind of Etxezarreta in order to compose a theme for him) which emphasizes Maixabel's pain from the murder of her husband.

Holding back from any note of dramatic music over emotion scenes, Bollain composes a superb, layered Ambient sound design, where the closing of cell doors and indistinct chattering from guards on the other side of the door is the only thing which break the silences between Etxezarreta and Maixabel, who when she leaves the jail behind, is surrounded by the sound of nature, playing in the background to the memories of her husband.

Played note perfect to match the sounds in Maixabel's life, director Bollain & cinematographer Javier Agirre unlock an incredibly raw atmosphere, pinned on long-takes mid-shots and lingering close-ups of Maixabel (played by an tremendous, expressive Blanca Portillo, who was kept apart from meeting her co-star by the director,until they filmed their scenes) and Etxezarreta (played by Sleep Tight (2011-also reviewed) lead actor Luis Tosar, who delicately balances Etxezarreta's horrifying bursts of violence, with a growing resourcefulness from accepting the impact his acts of terrorism has had on people) laying bare their emotions across the table.

Highlighting the differences between Etxezarreta and Maixabel in their surroundings, Bollain reflects on Maixabel's mourning with warm, earthy blues and reds, which are contrasted by the cold, hard brick and concrete textures that Etxezarreta is confined to.

Extensively talking to the real Maixabel, the screenplay by Bollain and Campo present a thoughtful character study, with the writers displaying a real precision in capturing the years of mourning Maixabel and others have experienced from the aftermath of the ETA terrorists attacks.

Not shying away from showing voices of disagreement raised over Maixabel speaking to one of the terrorists jailed for killing her husband, the writers unveil the deep roots of hatred that run in Etxezarreta's ideology, who the writers gradually show develop a true sense of remorse, over the long meetings of reconciliation by the brave Maixabel.

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