section Facing the Fear – Cinematic reflections on terror, trauma and resistance


  • Icíar Bollaín
  • ES
  • 2021
  • 115

Maixabel's husband is murdered by supporters of the Basque underground organization ETA. For the activist a battle against her own pain and for a shared peace begins, one which even leads her to share a table with her husband's murderer.

The film tells, calmly and respectfully, of Maixabel's efforts to establish a dialogue between the different camps, despite all the odds, and to enable conversations in a society torn apart by violence, and of Ibon, who was involved in the attack as a perpetrator. He tries to turn his back on the terrorist organisation whilst Maixabel works to remember the victims on both sides of the conflict. Two fates whose paths cross again. Up close to true events and those who were involved in them, this decades-long conflict evolves into a personal story full of spiritual power and emotional impact. A Tale of Love, Anger and Hope, the additional German title of the film, poses the question of reconciliation between Basque society and ETA. The Euskadi ta Askatasuna, which roughly translates as 'Freedom for the Basque Country' and is abbreviated to ETA, was an underground organisation until its self-dissolution in 2018; its actions claimed over 800 lives as of the 1960s. Are the resulting divisions too deep to overcome?

Text: Merlin Webers
English: Peter Rickerby


original title MAIXABEL

international title MAIXABEL

german title MAIXABEL

JFBB section Facing the Fear – Cinematic reflections on terror, trauma and resistance

  • director Icíar Bollaín

country/countries ES

year 2021

duration 115

Icíar Bollaín

BIO (Regie und Buch) Geboren 1967 in Madrid. Schauspieldebüt 1983 in Víctor Erices EL SUR. Es folgten u.a. Rollen in MALAVENTURA (1998, R: Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón), TOCANDO FONDO (1993, R: José Luis Cuerda) und LAND AND FREEDOM (1995, Regie: Ken Loach). Für LEO (2000, R: José Luis Borau) wurde Icíar Bollaín zum Spanischen Filmpreis Goya als Beste Schauspielerin nominiert. 1995 drehte sie mit HOLA, ¿ESTÁS SOLA? ihren ersten Spielfilm als Regisseurin, der u.a. in Valladolid mit dem Regie-Nachwuchspreis ausgezeichnet wurde. Es folgten BLUMEN AUS EINER ANDEREN WELT (1999, u.a. ausgezeichnet in der Semaine de la Critique in Cannes sowie zweifach zum Goya nominiert), ÖFFNE MEINE AUGEN (2003, u.a. sieben Goyas, darunter Bester Film) und MATAHARIS (2007, u.a. zwei Goya-Nominierungen).