An 80-year old priest who religiously reads L´Equipe as a result of his addiction to cycling is the good starting point for a film. If this priest is also a defender of smuggling, of which he confesses to being a loyal practitioner and reveals his opinions of how the Basque people love, among other things, we are faced with a great personal and joint portrayal. With great precision and filmmaking success, Hubert Knapp devoted one of his chapters in the south-west of France entirely to an interview with Jean Elissalde “Zerbitzari”, a priest born in Ascain, film scriptwriter and member of Euskaltzaindia who did not let go of a bible in one hand to play pelota with the other. The Parisian filmmaker finds and portrays him in his beautiful parish of Gerezieta, a small world that reflects his universe.
(Toulon, 1924, Toulon – París, 1995)
He started his career as an assistant director for one of the pioneers of television: Jacques Armand. After making some short films, he worked on the programme, Filmmakers of our Time, sketching the portrait of Jean-Luc Godard. In 1956, he participated in the Storytellers television series, highlighting the value of living memory and oral culture. Alongside his colleague, Jean-Claude Bringuier, he cultivated the subjective camera in the Les Croquis series, a documentary formula that they used to portray different regions of France. In 1962, he was named Best Director by the French Association of Film and Television Critics. He later produced the Sketches, Fresselines and Chronicles of France series.