On November 18, 2011, animation film Gartxot premiered in the Basque Country, and three days from now Baztan will open in Spanish movie theaters. For those of us living abroad, it’s always great to hear how successful Basque films are becoming, but a little bit sad because we cannot be part of the movie-going crowd. Luckily, there are some older movies available online for free, and now you can also enjoy newer releases, like Gartxot, for a nominal fee on filmotech.com.
It’s the 12th century and Navarre and the Camino de Santiago (“Way of St. James”) are at their height. The new Abbot of Roncesvalles banishes local minstrel Gartxot in order to capture his son Mikelot, with his marvellous voice, and convert him into a singing monk. Mikelot manages to escape from the convent and returns to sing alongside his father. Their songs become symbolic of the struggle against oppression. The Church is not willing to accept this rebuke and sends out its shy warrior monks to hunt down Gartxot. So begins the tragedy. So begins the conquest.