GERNIKA LIVES (A documentary about the bombing of Gernika in Euskadi.)
Written, and directed by Begonya Plaza
It is the 50th Anniversary of the bombing of Gernika. Gernika was the first innocent town to be air bombed by Hitler, with the encouragement of Franco and his fascist regime. In this film, my father reunites with childhood friends, and family. Amongst them are renowned Basque artists like Jose Luis Iriondo, Olaeta Ballet, Mauri Ugartemendia (one of history's greatest Spanish futbol players), Gernika's mayor, other politicians, educators, athletes, and the town's civilians who were barely children when the devastation began. They recount that horrific day, which was on a Monday, it was market day in Gernika, when the surrounding towns come to gather and sell their produce, and celebrate their culture and unique tradition.
Starring: John Randolph, & renown Basque writer/historian, Mario de Salegi.
Spanish, and Euskera with English Voice-Over & subtitles. 45-minute video.
Edited by: Jack Tucker and Begonya Plaza
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• Orders can be placed from anywhere in the world
• DVD Includes subtitles in English/Spanish and dubbed into English.
• Photography book of Euskadi available
UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES
• DVD licensed with lifetime public performance rights (PPR): $200
PUBLIC LIBRARIES, HIGH SCHOOLS & NON-PROFITS
• DVD licensed with lifetime public performance rights (PPR): $50
• Discounts available for multiple copies
* For electronic file/streaming rights or purchase orders, contact us.
* DVD: $30
Filmed in Guernica, in 1987 before any other film of its kind, and later again in 2000 with writer, historian, Mario de Salegi, at his home in New York City.
Through these proud, hard working, and authentic people we learn about their culture, rich history of independence, and the tragic events leading to the Spanish Civil War, when Gernika was brutally bombed so unexpectedly. Basques speak a language that is rooted in their land, is one of the first democracies in Europe, nestled in the Pyrinees Mountains, along the Cantabric Ocean, within Northern Spain and Southern France.
The film is narrated, and introduced by actor and activist, John Randolph, member of the American Lincoln Brigades. From his dressing room on the Broadway stage while doing "Broadway Bound" for which he won that year, the Tony.
Most of the characters in this film have died, but GERNIKA LIVES, stands witness to their history through emotional accounts and visual documentation of Gernika in 1936, and then rebuilt in 1987, with all its historical symbolism; the legendary sacred oak tree which is now parished, traditions, sports, culture, culinary talents, and innate fierce character.
The little venerated town of Gernika was blazed mercilessly, and a third of the townspeople were killed as a pre -Spanish Civil War warning attack, by combined nazi - fascist allied forces on the side of Franco. This was the first ever air raid, and the initial test ground for the Nazi new technology and strategy called blitzkrieg, where large masses of innocent civilians would mercilessly be attacked from the air with falling bombs.
I was too young and didn't completely understand what I was doing, but impassion with a desire to honor my father's traumatic childhood I attempted with this film to help redeem the past, and help heal a profound wound I inherited. With the help of individual sponsors, Nina and Rudy del Campo, and the generosity of my best friend's father, Robert Snyder, I embarked to Madrid to find the funding and producer. Filled with faith and vision, I knocked on many doors and pitched my idea so committedly that within a week, I had found my angel. A Basque financier and television producer gave me everything I needed for an entire year, apartment, car, equiptment, crew, money, contacts. I hired my friend, and award winning editor, Jack Tucker, to collaborate with me in the editing, and for almost a year in Galdakano's K200 Studios, we worked and relished amongst richness of Euskadi.
The bombing motivated Pablo Picasso to paint this famous work of art, Guernica, as an illustration of innocent village people and animals being massacred by outside exploitative forces.
The Basques are considered to be the indigenous tribesmen of Europe and Gernika is the heart, and holy land of Euskadi. The April 26, 1937 attack was just another escalated threat to Euskadi's ancient precious culture.
My father was born in Gernika. He was six years old when the bombing occured. He never forgets the atrocities and misery suddenly oppressing him, his family and neighbors. The struggle for survival changed everyone's lives and the course of his own.
GERNIKA LIVES aired on Euskal Televista International, screened at Anthology Film Archives, Eusko Etxea NY, is purchased by universities, institutions, libraries, and private individuals around the world.
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear BegonyaThank you so much for the films which had arrived when I got back yesterday evening and watched. I loved them- such a personal journey for you. I especially liked Guernika Lives with its original footage and wonderful music to accompany it- very inspiring. I was even more horrified by the event and so touched by the courage and strength of the Basques- and the people who were interviewed. It must have been very emotional for your father. I so applaud their strength in holding on to their cultural and unique identity.On Saturday I will be sitting in the restaurant you recommended, thinking of the events, and will raise a glass to you and yours.Thank you again,Lesley - MiriamEngland, february, 2013