New website for Pyrenean films

Cet article est également disponible en: French

Baztan, the filmIt has only been online for a couple of days, but already looks interesting: a catalogue of films made in the Pyrenees.

The poster is for the 2012 film Baztan, directed by Iñaki Elizalde, filmed in and around Elizondo in the Spanish Basque country. I passed through the town last summer, walking the Senda (Spanish GR11). The poster stretched the whole height of the wall on one side of the main square.

The director claims that the locals were enthusiastic about the filming, despite its central thesis of multi-secular discrimination against the agotes ingrained in local culture; discrimination which continued well into the 20th century.

Who were the agotes? Nobody seems to know. They were neither a religious nor an ethnic group. They are variously cited as descendants of Goths, lepers, Moorish soldiers, misshapen cretins. Whoever they were, they were up to no good. Once an agote, always an agote. Agotes were obliged to marry each other and marriage and baptismal registers kept track of who was who. They were despised and marginalised. Bozate, 5km from Elizondo was an agote ghetto. A popular saying was: “Al agote, garrotazo en el cogote – An agote? Club him on the neck” [source]

The film hasn’t been widely distributed so I haven’t yet seen it…

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