Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Roads to Nowhere: How Basque Terrorists Cross Space and Place in Cinema

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2005), 82, (3), 343–356.

Abstract

This essay considers how the relationship between ETA terrorists, Basque national identity and Basque landscape is figured in Spanish cinema through the use of the rural road. It will explore the motif of the road as a sign of both transgression and exile from the Basque motherland implied by the landscape. Using examples from the films Días contados and El viaje de Arián the paper argues that the road comes to signify the transgression of the individual terrorist against ETA and thus against the Basque Country for which ETA is fighting. These journeys of transgression become in the end journeys towards death: but the crisis in separatist commitment to the Basque Country is displaced on to the individual, leaving the link between ETA and the Basque landscape uncritiqued.

Este artículo explora la relación entre los terroristas de ETA, la identidad vasca y el paisaje vasco por la carretera rural en películas españolas. La carretera rural funciona como símbolo de transgresión tanto como del exilio de la patria vasca representada por el paisaje. El artículo utiliza ejemplos de las películas Días contados y El viaje de Arián para proponer que la carretera rural significa la transgresión del terrorista individual contra ETA y, por consecuencia, contra la Euskadi por la cual ETA está luchando. Los viajes de transgresión se convierten en viajes hacia la muerte: pero la crisis de compromiso separatista del País Vasco se desplaza hacia el individuo, dejando sin cuestionar el vínculo entre ETA y el paisaje vasco.

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Author details

Davies, Ann