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IZARO. 2012-18

Documentary/essay, 63 minutes. Bilbao

On a text by Jaime Cuenca. Narration: Aizpea Goenaga. Music: Alex Mendizabal with the Izaro Choir from Bermeo.

IZARO is a documentary/essay which updates a fragmented portrait of the identity, history and legacy of Izaro Island until its diaspora. The name Izaro has germinated into power practices, into legal claims for the ownership of the Island in the form of festivals with the throwing of the roof tile, into the film production company Izaro Films Presenta, with its own watchtower, the Windsor Tower, into proper names, both female as well as male, and into one of the latest generation tuna fishing vessels built by shipowners from Bermeo and fishing in waters of the Indian Ocean under the flag of the Seychelles.

It includes interview with the shipowner Kepa Etxebarria and the captain Kalaberry on the Izaro vessel, before his departure to the Seychelles, and interview with Genaro Alas, one of the architects who, together with Pedro Casariego, designed the Windsor Tower.

With the participation of Izaro Ieregi and Izaro Aperribai.

Izaro is the name of a small island between Bermeo and Mundaka, a small inhospitable territory in the Cantabrian Sea, which has had historical importance in the identity of the villages around it and maintains strong emotional bonds in the diaspora.

The island was used as a lookout point for whale hunting, a spiritual reserve for two centuries, where the ruins of an old monastery of the Observant Franciscans still remain; these had an attitude of disobedience towards the land-based Franciscans and were visited on several occasions by the Catholic Monarchs. The monastery was plundered by pirates from La Rochelle. Every year, during La Magdalena festival, Bermeo claims the jurisdiction of the Island by throwing a roof tile next to it while shouting Hasta aquí llegan las goteras de Bermeo (Up to here is how far the leaks of Bermeo reach). During Franco’s time and the transition, the film production and distribution company Izaro Films Presenta, founded by Julián Reyzábal, used the Izaro Island as its logo. Izaro Films Presenta played an important role in the so-called Destape (erotic cinema), and the profits made were used to build the Windsor Tower in the financial heart of Madrid. It burnt down in 2005 during the ARCO fair in strange circumstances. At present the name Izaro is borne by a latest generation tuna fishing vessel built by shipowners from Bermeo in Santurtzi. This vessel is currently fishing in the Indian Ocean under the flag of the Seychelles.

The Izaro project, like most of my proposals, is a long-term one. It started in 2012 with an expedition to the Island to bury a time capsule with a GPS device so as to be able to locate it on a mobile phone. The proposal in documentary/essay format comprises a number of meetings in connection with the island, so as to extend and update the view we have of Izaro, as well as what the island shows and hides at the same time.

This research work of several years has generated a complex puzzle, which tries to put together a number of interrelated routes between the different physical and mental landscapes of the three islands: Izaro Island, Izaro Films and the Seychelles, not only in the sphere of the real but also in that of the imaginary and symbolic, as well as the network between its parts as the mechanism forº the production of icons, which not always come from real facts, but occasionally arise from fictions which are part of the complexity in the representation of identities. The island is both the base and the monument.

Centro Huarte and Navarra Government support.

Interview with Genaro Alas, one of the architects who, together with Pedro Casariego, designed the Windsor Tower.

Time capsule buried on the Izaro island. 2012

Festival de Cine de San Sebastián SSIFF

Zinebi 60, Bilbao

Encuentro con Txuspo Poyo, Jaime Cuenca y Fernando Bayón sobre Izaro en la Universidad de Deusto

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