LIST: 13 Films about the Basque Conflict

There are numerous films and mini-series that deal with the touchy subject of the Basque conflict. Some better than others, but all worth watching for anybody interested on the subject.

I hope one day games that deal with the same subject are seen as highly as these films.

I didn’t include any of the many great documentaries out there, but among them are “La Pelota Vasca”, “El Fin de ETA”, “Asier eta Biok” and many insightful interviews by journalist Jordi Évole.

  1. Operacion Ogro (1979) – Gillo Pontecorvo (Pisa, Italy)

    One of the very first films about ETA, “Operacion Ogro” tells the story of how the group completed one of their most defining attacks against Franco’s successor. Although a little slow at times, the film is well made and was quite controversial at the time of its release.

  2. La Fuga de Segovia (1981) – Imanol Uribe (San Salvador, El Salvador)

    Also based on real events, it was the director’s first attempt (but not last) at the Basque conflict. It features a great cast and chronicles the escape of prisoners from a prison in Segovia.

  3. La Muerte de Mikel (1984) – Imanol Uribe (San Salvador, El Salvador)

    The movie begin’s with Mikel’s funeral (played by the formidable actor, Imanol Arias) and slowly reveals the history around him, with references to many aspects of Basque life. Another great work by director Imanel Uribe.

  4. Ander eta Yul (1988) – Ana Díez (Tudela, Spain)

    Possibly one of the harder films to find on this list, Ander eta Yul tells the story of two friends: one a drug dealer, the other a terrorist. Female director Ana Díez creates a cult classic that has forever stuck in Basque cinema.

    Link to “Filmoteca Vasca”

  5. Dias Contados (1994) – Imanol Uribe (San Salvador, El Salvador)

    “Numbered Days” became a very popular film that told the story of an etarra planning an attack in Madrid, where he ends up falling in love with a drug addict. It features cameos by acclaimed actors such as Javier Bardem.

  6. Yoyes (2000) – Helena Taberna (Alsasua, Spain)

    Biopic of the former female ETA member by the same name, who was killed by her own people in public. Narrates her personal life, including her final murder in cold blood.

  7. El Lobo (2004) – Miguel Courtois (Paris, France)

    A personal favorite, “El Lobo” was the code name of the real-life man who infiltrated ETA and eventually had to go through plastic surgery to protect his identity. It’s a thrilling journey of action, deceit and betrayal. The production quality is sublime and the script has an excellent structure.

  8. Todos Estamos Invitados (2008) – Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón (Torrelavega, Spain)

    Although criticized by some for not being daring enough, “We are All Invited” features an excellent performance by one of Spain’s most prolific actors, Jose Coronado, who plays a professor threatened by ETA due to his political views.

  9. Una Bala Para el Rey (2009) – Pablo Barrera (NA)

    This mini-series documents ETA’s failed attempt at assassinating the Spanish king. Based on real events and with high production value.

  10. Dragoi Ehiztaria (2012) – Patxi Barco (Catalunya, Spain)

    This movie may have not gathered as much attention as others on this list, but it is a true gem of Basque cinema. It follows an ETA member living in exile, who eventually returns to his homeland. It was also the most expensive Basque production at the time.

  11. Lasa y Zabala (2014) – Pablo Malo (NA)

    “Lasa and Zabala” is based on the real events by the group GAL, which, during the 80s, attempted to fight ETA fire with fire, causing a great scandal.

  12. Negociador (2014) – Borja Cobeaga (Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain)

    An interesting and mildly comedic approach at the Basque conflict from the talented writer of other highly successful movies such as “Ocho Apellidos Vascos”. It also boasts the presence of Ramón Barea, one of the Basque Country’s most respected actors. The plot revolves around a negotiation between ETA and the Spanish government. Although mostly fictitious, it is inspired by true events.

  13. El Padre de Cain (2016) – Salvador Calvo (Madrid, Spain)

    I was recently made aware of this mini-series, which brings a new light on the conflict, seen through the eyes of “Guardia Civiles” (Spanish police officers) that were stationed in the Basque Country. These were some of the most targeted groups by ETA, to the point where families had to live in enclosed residential areas and had to check for bombs under their cars every morning.