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The Basque Ball Review

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Documentary about the conflict in Spain's Basque region, which looks at the greivances of Basque nationalists as well as the government position.

★★★★★

The 2004 bomb atrocity in Madrid thrust the name of ETA, albeit briefly, back into the headlines, although few TV networks bothered to explore the notion of Basque separatism.

This timely documentary responds to some of the unanswered questions, but raises many more. The refusal of the government and ETA to participate in Julio Medem's debate undoubtedly devalues it, although most Iberian commentators felt its downfall was the scrupulously even-handed approach to the fiercely conflicting viewpoints being aired, which deprived the film of a fulcrum.

Those unfamiliar with the political and cultural tensions of the Euska Herria will come to appreciate the passion of those advocating either violence or dialogue. But Medem's jump-cutting approach and the sheer volume of talking heads, whose allegiance won't always register with outsiders (despite the surfeit of captions), often render this very heavy going.

A passionate, but often heavy-going documentary for an audience of outsiders.