Basque Ball details
|Genres:||Documentary, World Cinema|
|Run time:||1 hour 47 minutes|
|Rental release:||23 Aug 2004|
|Main languages:||Basque, Spanish|
Most helpful review
A Brave and Timely DocumentaryBy steve69 from Herts. , 09 Sep 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]I highly recommend Julio Medems documentary Basque Ball to anyone curious about the culture and history of the Basque people, and the political conflict between Basque nationalists and the Spanish government.
Basque Ball was hugely controversial in Spain. However, it is no Michael Moore style polemic. Medems film is a heartfelt plea for debate. He interviews around 70 people and edits their contributions in a way that suggests dialogue. The Popular Party (PP) and ETA do not participate.
Made for a Spanish audience, it can at times be demanding for non-Spaniards. Therefore, dont miss a second viewing with the fascinating audio commentary by Rob Stone and Paddy Woodworth, who are authorities on Medem and the Basques, respectively.
The film is named after the game of pelota, footage of which punctuates the film. Other Basque sports are also depicted with metaphoric intent, including the hurling of very large stones, hence the subtitle: Skin against Stone. It is in these interlude sequences that Medem uses montage to great poetic and emotional effect.
Medem is known for a series of highly imaginative fictional film, all of which are worth seeking out: Vacas (1991), The Red Squirrel (1993), Tierra (1996), Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998) and Sex and Lucia (2001). Basque Ball is his first documentary. In it he uses footage from Vacas, which concerns a conflict between two Basque families. His next film will be fictional, but will apparently draw heavily on the research he did for Basque Ball.
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Love it!By a customer from Cambridge , 29 Sep 2009A very good documentary ... doesn't try to judge any 'side' of the conflict and just gives the opinion of the people that lives the day to day.
Certainly recommended to understand the Basque Country.
Informative a bit longBy stivali (14 reviews) from Wallsend , 28 Sep 2009Worth watching if your interested in Spain and want a bit of background on ETA and the Basque region. Like most factional politics it probably takes several viewings to get a grip on the various parties involved.
A subtitle too farBy a customer from Fareham , 27 Feb 2009I am usually happy to watch films with subtitles but this was too much. It was a complicated subject explained in interviews with a large range of people and it was just too much to take in with subtitles. I wanted to like this and I struggled through it but I don't feel I got the best out of it.
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Too heavily editedBy poshnorth (4 reviews) from London , 26 Aug 2008Almost impossible to believe anything that anyone says as the talking heads are so heavily edited that the director actually cuts between words. Combine this with some of the worst blue screen post editing and you have to wonder what exactly is true and false in this low-rent documentary. Really disappointing and one to avoid.
Suitable only with prior knowledgeBy LEENEW (73 reviews) from Manchester , 04 Aug 2008Unless you have a good understanding of this subject do not order this film. There is no overview or historical information, the programme bounces round from person to another in a style that you do not know who represents each political group.