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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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4. A traditional stereotype for modern Spanish politics: The Basque pro-independence coalition Herri Batasuna and its depiction in cinema (Gorka Etxebarria / Josu Martinez)

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Gorka Etxebarria and Josu Martinez

University of the Basque Country

4. A traditional stereotype for modern Spanish politics: The Basque pro-independence coalition Herri Batasuna and its depiction in cinema

Abstract: This chapter shows an approach to national stereotypes in the Basque Country, through four different films. It analyses how the pro-independence coalition Herri Batasuna (People’s Unity) was portrayed in films in which their plots took place in the 1980s. We propose that its characterisation is ruralised, traditional and irrational, and is built in connection with the new Spanish modern-democratic identity, as its opposite pole.

Keywords: National identities, cinema stereotypes, Basque nationalism, 1980s

The aim of this chapter is to propose an interpretation about how the Basque cinema has dealt with national stereotypes in the Basque Country. For that purpose, we will analyse how the Basque pro-independence coalition Herri Batasuna (People’s Unity) has been portrayed in four different films.

Herri Batasuna was formed in 1978, opposed to the approval of the Spanish Constitution. Three years after Franco’s death, the Constitution was negotiated among the former Francoist government and the opposition parties that were elected in June 1977. It established the continuity of the Francoist monarchy, the Army, police forces and administration, but assured the multi-party election system and the human and civil rights.

Herri Batasuna characterised the very same Constitution as anti-Basque and anti-workers, arguing that it did not accept Basque people’s right...

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