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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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3. Are they terrorists or victims? Basque cinema, violence and memory (Katixa Agirre)

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Katixa Agirre

NOR Research Group, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)

3. Are they terrorists or victims? Basque cinema, violence and memory

Abstract: Basque cinema from the last decade has apparently neglected political conflict and recent violence. The film Lasa eta Zabala (2014), by Pablo Malo, is one of the exceptional cases in which Basque recent violent past is revisited on-screen. Starting in 1983, it tells the real story of two young ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) militants who are refugees in the French Basque Country and are soon to become the first two official victims of the GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberacion), the state-sponsored death squad that killed 27 people between 1983 and 1987. Lasa and Zabala were kidnapped, tortured for months, and then executed and buried. Lasa eta Zabala engages with a difficult topic, since it tells the story of two victims that were originally – and according to the official memory – terrorists, and their executioners were civil guards, the police force that was for years ETA’s primary target.

Based on an in-depth interview with the screenwriter, in this chapter, I present Lasa eta Zabala as a flawed contribution toward a historical memory. Knowing the controversial material they are dealing with, screenwriter and director deploy different strategies to make their film less inflammatory, but the result is incoherent and confusing. As many authors (Labanyi, Crumbaugh, and Verdery) have noted when reflecting on the Spanish civil war and Franco regime’s victims, Lasa eta Zabala also decontextualizes political violence, emphasizing the role of the victims, but at the end it ends up being too cautious to really go into the reasons and consequences of these brutal acts.

Keywords: Cinema, memory, terrorism, victims, Basque conflict

Basque cinema and historical memory

In the last decade, Basque cinema has emerged and bloomed. After 12 years of silence, Aupa Etxebeste! [Hooray for Etxebeste!] (2005), a comedy shot integrally in Basque language, was released with notable audience success, prompting a humble but steady production flux of Basque films. Coincidentally, the first years of the twenty-first century have also opened a new political cycle in the Basque Country, after the much-awaited decision of separatist group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) to put an end to decades of violence. This context has put a new political focus on the necessity of some sort of “grand narrative” to help Basque society understand and remember its violent past. ← 45 | 46 →

It could be expected that these two circumstances – a revitalized Basque cinema and a symbolic battle over the past – would somehow overlap, with films contributing to the task of a narrative-building about the past. However, this is only partially true. Compared to the effervescent post-Franco era in which a thriving cinema industry engaged with a nation-building intent via subsidized cinema (Stone and Rodriguez, 2015: 64), Basque cinema of the twenty-first century has changed its focus and style. On the one hand, the use of Basque language is for the first time in history regular and more natural now. On the other hand, these new films have shifted “its discourse from the violence that marks so much earlier Basque cinema to class, gender, and sexual struggles,”1 and in general, they have not shown a great interest in the conflictive and violent past.

Indeed, reflection on the Basque conflict has been present in documentary films but it is scarce when it comes to fiction movies. Actually the two more successful films of this last decade of Basque cinema are a comedy: the aforementioned Aupa Etxebeste!, which still holds the box office record among Basque-speaking films, and an exquisite drama – Loreak [Flowers]–, which along with a general critical acclaim was submitted to the Oscars race representing Spain in 2015.

Stone and Rodriguez have pointed at a shift from a cinema of citizens to a cinema of sentiment,2 following a global trend that diffuses nationhood – and therefore the nation-building role of cinema – and highlights personhood. As they put it, “contemporary Basque cinema is a cinema of sentiment in which the Basqueness of the protagonist is a detail that does not determine the events of the film.”3

However, in this chapter, I would like to discuss a particular film that can be considered an exception inside this new wave of Basque cinema, and indeed an exception to this cinema of sentiment. That film is Lasa eta Zabala, a 2014 movie written by Joanes Urkixo and directed by Pablo Malo.

Lasa eta Zabala can be considered an exception; first from a genre perspective, because this film is a legal thriller based on an actual violent episode. Thriller is perhaps the most neglected genre in this new wave of Basque cinema, more inclined to produce comedies, dramas, and documentaries. But more importantly, as Lasa eta Zabala is set in the 1980s and 1990s, it can be considered a historical film, a movie that openly seeks to contribute to the debate about memory of the recent violent past in the Basque Country. ← 46 | 47 →

The film tells the actual and well-known story of two young ETA militants who became the first victims of the GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberacion), the state-sponsored death squad that killed 27 people in the 1980s. In October 1983, Joxean Lasa and Josi Zabala, who were political refugees in the French Basque Country, were kidnapped by civil guards, tortured, and then executed. Their bodies, buried in southern Spain, were not identified until the mid-nineties.

Some authors have described Basque cinema of previous decades as sympathetic to ETA (de Pablo, 2014: 200), linked to the social support that the group still held in the post-Franco time. This support declined dramatically over the years,4 and now that ETA is politically and morally defeated, Lasa and Zabala’s scandalous case is a difficult topic to engage with: it tells the story of two victims that were originally, and according to the official narrative, terrorists.

And this difficulty, I would contend, is one that the filmmakers have not been able to resolve satisfactorily. Based on an in-depth interview with the screenwriter and promoter of the film, Joanes Urkixo,5 together with a film analysis, I will try to explain why I think Lasa eta Zabala is, sadly enough, a flawed contribution to historical memory, drawing on three main reasons: ideological and stylistic discrepancies between screenwriter and director, a desire to avoid any controversy, and an excessive emphasis on the figure of the victim. By doing so, my goal is to exemplify why Basque conflict and the project for a historical memory via cinema is still a challenging and largely uncompleted mission.

Two episodes, two sides, two views

The project of bringing this terrible story to the screen was first conceived by screenwriter Joanes Urkixo as a two-episode miniseries, but EiTB (Euskal Irrati Telebista), the Basque Public Broadcasting Group, requested a film after the project was pitched. According to the screenwriter, the original idea would count with two main characters. In the first episode, the main character would be Jesús García, an actual police officer who promoted the investigation about two bodies that would be later identified as those of Lasa and Zabala’s. The second episode would be led by Iñigo, based on the actual lawyer Iñigo Iruin, who ran the ← 47 | 48 → investigation and trial of the murders. Once converted into a full-length film, the actual protagonist happens to be Iñigo, the lawyer, while Jesus García only leads a couple of scenes at the beginning. I contend that both characters are actually one, namely, the impersonation of justice and integrity. Just in case we miss the point, both have extremely similar and explicit conversations at two different points of the film.

When Jesus García exits the judge’s office, after convincing him to open the case for the found bodies in Alicante, he is confronted by a civil guard. According to this man, García is working in favor of those who would not “hesitate to shoot us both if they had the chance.” And when he asks: “Which side are you on?,” García replies: “on the side of justice and duty, and so you should be, in case you’ve forgotten.” Also Iñigo the lawyer, later on, has a similar conversation with Fede, his assistant, about the convenience of making a witness commit perjury to win the case. But Fede states, and Iñigo concurs, that breaking the law that way is behaving like them, those who have committed terrible crimes. Their side is that of justice, not revenge.

In both conversations, the idea of the two sides is stressed. But these two sides are not ETA versus GAL, or terrorists versus law enforcement, nor even freedom militants versus corrupt police officers, but rather, justice versus injustice. According to this idea, Iñigo and officer García are on the same side, despite the fact that they are in different contexts, have different ideologies, and even speak different languages. In other words, Iñigo defends ETA militants in court and Jesús García is a police authority fighting ETA, but both are, according to the film, on the same side, since both are working for justice.

This idea, although politically correct, seems at odds with the historical context in which the film is set, and it is actually denied by another sequence of the film, that is, the opening scene. This pre-credit scene is set in 2013 and represents Lasa and Zabala’s sisters, now middle-aged, being interviewed in the radio. The radio presenter brings out the “sides” issues, but he does it this way: “Thirty years are gone since the killing of your brothers and now it seems possible for victims of both sides to come together and share experiences” [the emphasis is mine]. And the actress who impersonates Pili Zabala, insists on the same idea: “All of us, from both sides, have justified many injustices.”

So there were actually two sides, but they were not the justice/injustice sides that Iñigo and Jesús desired for, but rather two sides at war, justifying and committing injustices equally, according to the radio interview that opens the film.

This radio interview with the victims’ sisters is short and only appears before the credits. It is set in the present, unlike the rest of the film; its style and pace ← 48 | 49 → differ from the other thriller-like scenes; and the characters never appear again. It is certainly a strange sequence, but the screenwriter explained me the reasons. In the original script, the relevance of this interview was much bigger. It was actually the common thread of the film, and it was through the voices of the sisters that the actions unfolded. But the director, Pablo Malo, disagreed with this narrative device and reduced the radio interview to one short scene that would work only as an epilogue. In the last moment, while editing, he decided to make it a prologue instead.

The radio interview was one of the many issues in which the director’s and screenwriter’s views collided. As it ended being, the radio interview is incoherent inside this film, not only formally but also ideologically, as the different approach to the “both sides” issue shows.

The differences between the director and the screenwriter can be boiled down to one: their aims were different. Always according to the Urkixo, “reconciliation was not Pablo’s fight, he always saw the film as a thriller, period.” That’s why the radio interview and its explicit and ideological message bothered Pablo Malo. He wanted to build a pure thriller, without sending further political messages.

Sticking to the facts did not seem difficult, since, apart from all the necessary elements (violence, conspiracies, seeking of justice by heroes, etc.), this case was one of the very few state terrorism cases that was trialed, and it is therefore very well documented.

The judicial truth as a half lie

The judicial record of the case was actually one of the main reasons to pick up this story. According to Urkixo, the trial and the sentences were some kind of “safety net” they counted on, since they were going to put on the table a very sensitive and therefore controversial topic. Pablo Malo himself has repeated in every interview that the film is based “on facts proven, judged, and ratified by international courts.”6

The fear is understandable since the attacks that director Julio Medem faced when he released La pelota vasca, la piel contra la piedra (2003), a documentary about the Basque conflict, were still fresh in the memory. Medem’s film, which portrayed not only ETA victims, but also GAL and torture victims, was fiercely attacked by right-wing parties, many media outlets, and some ETA victims’ associations, including boycotts, demonstrations, and petitions of withdrawal from the San Sebastian International Film Festival7. ← 49 | 50 →

To understand this hysteria, it is worth bringing up an idea that Justin Crumbaugh has posed in a different context, that of the Francoist victims in contemporary Spain. That idea is that victims are used as a means of disqualifying opponents’ agendas. ETA victims and their political use are a great example of this symbolic dispute. For the Spanish right-wing party, the Partido Popular (PP), ETA victims “have been the perfect tool to transpose historical culpability (from Franco to ETA).”8 Therefore, when “Franco’s victims become publicly constituted as victims, they implicitly enter into an imagined dialogue with the victims of ETA.”9

If Franco’s victims are a potential challenge to the conservative monopoly over victimhood itself, the question becomes even trickier when it comes to ETA militants who are themselves victims of state terrorism. This was the kind of challenge that a film like Lasa eta Zabala might have posed and the danger the filmmakers feared. After all the film flips the victim/terrorist roles: the victims of this case are ETA militants, and they are kidnapped, tortured, and made disappeared by civil guards, historically, the police force that has been a prime target for ETA. That is why the film is so cautious. They stick to the judicial record and rely on the new peace scenario we live in today for a pacific release of the film, a scenario that Medem could not count on when he premiered his risky film.

The screenwriter always knew that he was going to base his story on the judicial record. And he stuck to his decision rigidly. Consequently, outside the judicial truth there is nothing: no interpretation, no speculation, and no wider context. At the end, only one moral message: every victim of every political violence is a victim from the same side, the evil side.

And it is precisely under these two premises: to speak only about what was proved in court and the mantra that “every victim is equal” that the film loses consistency and coherence. It seems quite obvious to say this but the judicial truth is only one part of reality, it can only refer to the facts that were proved and ratified, and when presented isolated, as the film does, they sometimes become incomprehensible, if not bizarre. Many things could not be proved then. The most palpable one is the question about the involvement of the government in the creation, funding, and promotion of the GAL. In the film, Galindo, the infamous colonel in charge of the death squad, tells his men, before committing the crimes: “we’ve received an order from the government of the nation.” And then he repeats: “keep in mind that we work with official backup, we’re working with a safety net here.” ← 50 | 51 →

But this is the only reference to a government responsibility for the crimes, the rest of the film avoids this question in a disconcerting way. At one point of the lawyer’s investigation, Iñigo is working on a blackboard, trying to build a pyramid of the death squad organization. On top of it, there is a big X. In the final version of the script, as the screenwriter told me, this X had some relevance, and Iñigo referred to it with the next line: “It’s too high, I cannot reach it.” But during the shooting, and based on atrezzo problems, the director decided to suppress that line and the X is almost imperceptible for the viewer. This X is important because it is a direct reference to Mr. X, as the media and the popular imaginary knew Felipe González, the former president of Spain (1982–1996). Although it remains a mystery today who the person on top of the GAL was, many point their fingers to González, and this case, together with other corruption scandals, costed him his position in 1996.

But, in the film, besides Galindo’s initial words and the discreet X on the blackboard, the film sidesteps the question of the government connection with the crimes in a rather cautious way.

I would like to argue that with this blatant omission, the film becomes incomprehensible for a viewer without previous knowledge about it. According to the story we see on-screen, some civil guards are chosen to “stab ETA on the neck” but they must do it outside the law. The reason for it is never explained. At one point Galindo describes the task ahead: “we need to go to France and do the same things we do here but not legally, because that is not possible.” From this line one could infer that in Spain it is actually legal to kidnap, torture, and execute someone, making the body disappear afterward. In the film, the role of France is never explained, and we never learn why Lasa and Zabala have, together with other comrades, refugee status in the neighbor country.

Surprisingly enough, once atrocities are committed – the film is quite explicit in this respect – the state responds according to the law, even though it has been suggested that the state is behind the crimes. There are some aggressions and threats to witnesses, and also a bomb is sent to Iñigo the lawyer, an incident in which his assistant Fede dies; but all these acts are committed by civil guards individually. On the part of the state, there is no pressure, no refusing to collaborate, and the film also forgets the eloquent fact that Colonel Galindo was promoted to general in 1995 by the González government, when he was already on the spot for this case.

The response of the state, as represented in this film, seems nothing but democratic and exemplary. That is why there is another scene that looks, again, quite out of this context. I am referring here to the scene at the cemetery. ← 51 | 52 →

After 12 years missing, the bodies of Lasa and Zabala finally return home for a proper burial. Family and friends await at the gates of the cemetery. A strong police detachment guards the gates. Tension grows as orders arrive saying that only close relatives can enter the cemetery. There are insults and protests, and although Iñigo tries to mediate for a peaceful resolution, finally the police baton charges people gathered around the cemetery.

Even though this is not a key scene from a narrative point of view, I think it is very telling of the limitations of the film. Isolated from its political and social context, only showing patches of chaos and violence and with a poor mise-en-scène, it is a great example of how the representation of a past incident can be completely ahistorical, if the connections between facts and acts are never explained. One cannot help but see the director’s reluctance in the poor way the cemetery scene is directed. Again, for the viewer with no previous knowledge of the case, it is difficult to understand why the Basque autonomous police is attacking the families gathered for such a tragic occasion. This is the consequence of omitting the context of political tension and violence of the 1990s in the Basque Country, in which the Basque police was “dealing with a low-intensity war.”10 Regarding the mise-en-scène, although we see the date of the incident on screen – June 1996 – actors and extras are shot wearing heavy coats and the atmosphere is nothing but gray and obviously wintery. Just a small detail that reveals the sloppy way the scene is directed.

Finally, and as a relative “happy ending” for the hero, Iñigo, the sentences are very high for the civil guards involved. Iñigo takes the sentence to the cemetery, where Fede is buried. Iñigo has had to pay a high token, but, as it is suggested for a moment, justice has been lastly done. But wait, just before the final credits roll up, Iñigo’s voice-over recalls that Bayo and Dorado, as authors, only served 6 years of the 67 they were convicted, and Galindo and Elgorriaga, convicted as instigators to 75 years in prison, only served 4 and 1 years each. Who reduced their sentences and why? The film does not talk about it.

Are all victims equal?

The movie tells us very little about Lasa and Zabala. There are a couple of scenes at the beginning in which we see the two young men in their daily routine as political refugees in the French Basque Country. Their connection to ETA is never explained. In reality, the only action Lasa and Zabala took as ETA members was an attempt to rob a bank. Apart from this first minutes of the film, we only see Lasa ← 52 | 53 → and Zabala as victims. They are violently kidnapped, savagely tortured, and then driven 800 km in the trunk of a car to be, on arrival, shot in the head and buried in quicklime. The representation of these events is explicit, to the point that Lasa and Zabala’s parents were prevented from watching the film.

Of course, if we only read this film as a thriller, we do not really need to know much more about the victims, they are there so evil can deploy its power, and they also give the hero a motive to pursue justice. From a historical memory perspective, however, I think showing Lasa and Zabala’s terrible suffering is not enough. The problem here is to fall into the kind of issues that Crumbaugh identified when talking about Franco victims, some kind of contest to determine who suffered more and who consequently deserves our memory and attention. In this macabre contest, the film tries to suggest that there is a tie. Everybody suffered, all this was a nonsense, and it is good that we have moved on. This is more or less the message we get from the radio interview. That is why I think the film leans toward what historian Ricard Vinyes has described as simple ecumenism. Simple ecumenism suggests that every dead, tortured, and offended are equal. This being empirically true, turns out to be useless and disconcerting from a historical perspective. According to this vision, the war is “a bunch of confrontation techniques and not the prolongation of social and political relations.”

With the idea of both sides – justice and injustice, those who commit crimes and those who suffer them – the film falls into the simple ecumenism described by Vinyes. The story focuses on the victims, the two young boys, but we know nothing about them besides their victim roles. Occasionally, we also see other victims fall: there are seven references to ETA crimes during the film, and we see how the GAL also kills other refugees in the French Basque Country, following the confessions made by Lasa and Zabala during torture. The opening credits, with a Hitchcockian touch, refer to the “years of lead,” as the deadliest years of ETA are known: they show car explosions, chaos, and street violence. But everything appears mixed on-screen, lacking any connection or interpretative intent.

This ideological asepsis might very well be interpreted as lack of courage. Reality reminds us that not all victims are equal, or at least not all victims are treated equally. In the summer of 2015, a Spanish court ratified the Ministry of Interior’s decision to refuse compensation to GAL victims if they had themselves participated in organized crime. On the same line, only a few months earlier, a pacifist event that was going to take place in the Congress of Spain, and in which victims of ETA and GAL were going to take part together, was vetoed by the two main political parties, PP (Partido Popular) and PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español). Even more recently, the unstable identity of GAL victims was ← 53 | 54 → put on the table at prime time: during a televised debate prior to the last Basque Government elections, in September 2016, Pili Zabala, one of Zabala’s sisters and now running for lehendakari (president of the Basque government) was denied her victim condition by another candidate, that of the PP, Alfonso Alonso. This tense anecdote – Zabala sent Alonso a frosty stare that made him babbled – was the highlight of the TV debate, profusely commented on social media and discussed by every political party.

Conclusion

It is obvious that the film dealt with a highly inflammable material, even from a contemporary perspective. Unfortunately, the attempt ended up caught in its own contradictions and limitations.

The alleged intention of both producer and screenwriter was to send “a political message of memory and reconciliation.” But at the same time, they commissioned the project to a director known for his thrillers and his ideological neutrality. “We chose him because he was not politically marked” said Urkixo. Predictably, this director reduced the political content and emphasized the thriller tone of the story, but let the story halfway. If it is a thriller, there are many avoidable scenes – like the radio interview –, if it really wants to talk about historical memory, a wider context is required. But screenwriter’s and director’s erratic movements to reach a compromise decontextualized violence and isolated this particular case, making a poor contribution to historical memory, and also, if I might say, a poor thriller.

But there is a problem in the original script as well: strictly sticking to the judicial record narrows the focus so much that many of the narrated things seem incomprehensible, if not grotesque.

I believe that our violent past deserves more audacity and more confidence in a mature viewer, a viewer able to understand that, beyond all the respect that any victim deserves, contextualizing and establishing connections does not mean to justify violence. As I see it, a more audacious approach would have been an invitation to a deeper reflection on violence, its causes and consequences.

The new wave of Basque cinema is focusing on making more personal films and, with the mentioned exceptions, sidestepping the question of historical memory/memories. I suspect there is some kind of exhaustion behind this artistic trend: Basque conflict has been an overwhelming and suffocating issue for too many decades in the Basque Country. But there is also a limit to freedom of speech, and controversy will haunt every film that defies the official narrative. But controversy, even boycott, is a danger that requires courage. We need to come to terms with the fact that denial or self-censorship will not be the path to follow. As Jo Labanyi has stated ← 54 | 55 → when speaking about the Francoist victims, “there is no one historical memory but rather a conflict of memories.”11 The same goes for the Basque conflict. Cinema should acknowledge this conflict of memories, not refuse it, if it wishes to become an agent of the project for a sincere historical memory and a true reconciliation.

Bibliography

Colmeiro, José and Gabilondo, Joseba. “Negotiating the local and the global.” In: A Companion to Spanish Cinema, eds. Jo Labanyi and Tatiana Pavlović. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2012, pp. 81–110.

Crumbaugh, Justin. “Are we all (still) Miguel Ángel Blanco? Victimhood, the media afterlife, and the challenge for historical memory.” Hispanic Review, Vol. 75, No. 4, 2007, pp. 365–384.

de Pablo, Santiago. “Cine y nacionalismo vasco: el caso de ETA político-militar y Euskadiko Ezkerra.” In: Hacer historia con imágenes, eds. Hueso Montón and Camarero Gómez. Madrid: Síntesis, 2014, pp. 199–220.

García, Rocío. “Lasa y Zabala, la polémica llega al cine.” El País, 14.09.2014.

Labanyi, Jo. “Historias de víctimas: la memoria histórica y el testimonio en la España contemporánea.” Iberoamericana, Vol. 6, No. 24, 2006, pp. 87–98.

Leonisio, Rafael and López, Raúl. “Between fear, indignation and indifference. Basque public opinion and socio-political behavior facing terrorism.” In: ETA’s Terrorist Campaign: From Violence to Politics, 1968–2015, eds. Rafael Leonisio, Fernando Molina, and Diego Muro. Oxford: Routledge, 2017, pp. 143–161.

Marull, David Ruiz. “Feliz González: Nunca hemos tenido peor resultado en el País Vasco pese a las cosas que hicimos,” La Vanguardia, 2016. 07 December 2016. http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20160928/41635221724/felipe-gonzalez-pais-vasco-gal.html.

Millás, Juan José. “Pude volar a la cúpula de ETA,” El País, 2010. 17 August 2016. http://elpais.com/diario/2010/11/07/domingo/1289105554_850215.html

Stone, Rob. Julio Medem. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007.

Stone, Rob and Rodríguez, María Pilar. Basque Cinema: A Cultural and Political History. London: IB Tauris, 2015.

Vinyes, Ricard. “La reconciliación como ideología.” El País, 12.08.2010.

Woodworth, Paddy. Dirty War, Clean Hands: ETA, the GAL and Spanish Democracy. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002. ← 55 | 56 →


1 José Colmeiro, Joseba Gabilondo, “Negotiating the local and the global,” in A Companion to Spanish Cinema, eds. Jo Labanyi and Tatiana Pavlović (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2012), pp. 94.

2 Colmeiro, Gabilondo, “Negotiating the local,” p. 9.

3 Colmeiro, Gabilondo, “Negotiating the local,” p. 10.

4 Rafael Leonisio, Raúl López, “Between fear, indignation and indifference. Basque public opinion and socio-political behavior facing terrorism,” in ETA’s Terrorist Campaign: From Violence to Politics, 1968–2015, eds. Rafael Leonisio, Fernando Molina, and Diego Muro (Oxford: Routledge, 2017), p. 148.

5 This interview took place in Bilbao, 14 July 2015, and was later completed via e-mail and phone.

6 Rocío García, “Lasa y Zabala, la polémica llega al cine” El País, 14 September 2014.

7 Stone, Rob. Julio Medem. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007. P. 229

8 Justin Crumbaugh, “Are we all (still) Miguel Ángel Blanco? Victimhood, the media afterlife, and the challenge for historical memory,” Hispanic Review, Vol. 75, No. 4 (2007), p. 368.

9 Crumbaugh, “Are we all (still) Miguel Ángel Blanco?,” p. 367.

10 Paddy Woodworth, Dirty War, Clean Hands: ETA, the GAL and Spanish Democracy (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), p. 285.

11 Labanyi, Jo. “Historias de víctimas: la memoria histórica y el testimonio en la España contemporánea.” Iberoamericana, Vol. 6, No. 24, 2006, p. 89.