The Chez les Basques cycle (At the Basque Home, in French), which will be developed within the framework of the Punto de Vista Festival from 10th to 15th February in Pamplona, brings together, for the first time ever, the important documentary legacy of life in the south-west corner of France, linking Bayonne to Hendaye and Mauleón to San Juan de Pie de Puerto, which are bordered by the Atlantic and the Pyrenees. Since the very beginning of the film industry, few places in the world have been able to boast of having such an illustrious group of internationally renowned filmmakers, who have portrayed the life and culture of one of the oldest living villages in Europe decade after decade. This ethnographic interest traces the selection and the five programmes that make up the Chez les Basques cycle.
The cycle begin the same way as the film industry came about, at the hands of the Lumière brothers, who at the very outset of the film industry, when film was an invention to capture reality in movement, captured on camera a new and beautiful way of portraying reality: the melodious swell of the Atlantic Ocean around Roca de la Virgen in Biarritz, after debuting with the departure of the workers and the arrival of the train. Therefore in 2015, we cannot overlook the work of one of the greats of the film industry, who celebrates the hundredth anniversary of his birth, Orson Welles and his two documentary films based on the Basque culture and traditions.
The cycle also discovers unknown jewels, such as the film made by the great Georgian filmmaker in 1982, Otar Iosseliani, a fan of the songs of his country, an echo of which he discovered in the two villages lost in the Basque mountains, Helette and Pagol, and focused on filming how they prepared and celebrated their festivities. Furthermore, a forgotten gem will be rescued, Le chemin d´Ernoa (Louis Delluc, 1921), recently restored by the French filmmaker, a jewel of light and landscape; a programme will be dedicated to two half-hour short films by Hubert Knapp, the first film in which Basque is spoken for the first time ever will be screened, work of Maurice Champreux; and an ode to the Basque culture by the Germen filmmaker, Herbert Brieger, will be reviewed.