La madre muerta: Basque identity, or just the other? (: Basque identity, or just the other?The Dead Mother: Basque identity, or just the other?, 1993) and : Basque identity, or just the other?Tierra: Basque identity, or just the other? (: Basque identity, or just the other?Earth: Basque identity, or just the other?, 1995): Basque identity, or just the other?

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Abstract

This paper examines two films by Julio Medem and Juanma Bajo Ulloa in relation to questions raised by the lable ‘Basque film’. These questions originate in the fact that so-called ‘Basque films’ are not normally filmed in the Basque language; that Basque identity has a history of suppression by the Spanish State, and that its renowned directors, such as Medem and Bajo Ulloa, try to avoid being labelled ‘Basque’. Despite their formal differences, this paper argues that anxieties in relation to masculine, regional, national, and/or transnational identity emerge in the way both films screen the identity of their protagonists as a kind of cinematographic, Lacanian ‘battle’ with ‘O/others’ that is represented in the internal divisions of the protagonists, in the narrative ‘fort-da’ oscillation between these protagonists and the female characters, and, finally, in the two films' ironic and demystifying representations of Basque mythology and Christian iconography.

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