Frantzia sortua zen. Frantsesak sortzea falta zen bakarrik.


Bizkarsoro is a fictional feature film directed by Josu Martinez.

The people of Bizkarsoro do not exist, and likewise any people of Euskal Herria may be Bizkarsoro.

The Bizkarsoro are fictional characters, and the Bizkarsoro are all Basques who have been persecuted for living in Basque.

The film consists of five stories that take place between 1914 and 1982. These are five fictional stories based on oral testimonies and written texts, five decades of storytelling.

Gorka Peñagarikano Goikoetxea of Argia magazine commented:

“Bizkarsoro is a Basque town, which has scarcely experienced the flow of people and the great confusion of the population in the past. In World War I, he will have to fight first on the French side and then on the Nazi side. After all, he will be forced to renounce identity and language. His death is programmed, he is in danger, and he will be attacked with good thought, but against all odds he will resist. And even if he dies, he knows he’ll die leaving evidence for the autopsy.”

technical sheet

Written and directed by

Josu Martinez


Hibai Castro Egia

Produced by

Josu Martinez
Katti Pochelu
Mikel Arredondo
Ane Antoñanzas

Edited by



Joserra Senperena


Xanti Salvador

Production designer

Izaskun Urkijo Alijo

Makeup, Fx and costumes



Bea Kurutxarri
Mila Arrangoits
Martela Aneva-Fuchs
Hèléne Hervé
Ximun Fuchs
Kristiane Etxaluz
Ander Lipus
Manex Fuchs

Bixente Indart
Lea Campistron
Arantxa Hirigoien
Titika Rekalt
Eneida Alfaro Camus
Laura Kurutxarri Itzaina
Amaia Etxandi
Xantiana Bordarai

Featuring over 200 citizens of the Baigorri Valley.

technical details


82 minutes


Basque, French, German (OVS)


DCP 2K 1.85:1


JOSU MARTINEZ is an important figure in Basque cinema these recent years, especially in documentaries. He realised 9 feature-lenath documentary projects, 8 of which were presented previewed at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Doctor in film history and graduate in cultural anthropology, he is a professor of cinema at the University of the Basque Country (EHU).
He is also the author of four books on cinema and memory.

BIZKARSORO is his first fiction feature film.


Itsasoaren alaba (2009)
Sagarren denbora (2010)
Debekatuta dago oroitzea (2010)
Barrura begiratzeko leihoak (2012)
Gure Sor Lekuaren bila (2015)

Jainkoak ez dit barkatzen (2018)
Caminho Longe (2020)
Paperezko hegoak (2021)

Director’s notes

Originally from Bilbo, I have been living for a few years in Baigorri, in the northern Basque Country. I don’t speak French very well and the other villagers don’t speak Spanish either. We always communicate in our common language: Basque.

However, as soon as I arrived, I immediately noticed that some villagers did not feel very comfortable speaking this language. I would even say that I perceived a certain complex when they spoke.


Throughout this period, I met many people from different generations and we had long conversations about their lives and memories of the village.
I clearly saw that in Baigorri, as in many other villages in the Basque Country, a great social metamorphosis/transformation happened throughout the 20th century: that of the disappearance of a language and a culture.

At the beginning of the century, the majority of villagers only spoke Basque. Bv the end of the centurv, French had taken over, in the street as well as at home, and people who continued to speak Basque were glanced at suspiciously.

How does a language die?

With this film, I wanted to tell the story of the disappearance of the Basque language, but also its fight for survival. In fact, the survival more than of the language, that of its speakers.
The survival of the Basque-speaking community.


The testimonies collected from the villagers are at the origin of the film, and the villagers are the protagonists. They play the role of their grandparents or their parents. They speak for therselves,
like in a memory retrieval exercise.


However, this film is not about Baigorri, because this same story
happened in manv other Basque villages.
The process of language extinction was a wide one and it did not
take place only in the Basque Country. Worldwide, 6,000 languages
have disappeared throughout history. 6,000 ways to see the world
6,000 worlds. That’s why I decided to set this film in a village
that doesn’t appear on the maps, in Bizkarsoro.


Like a symphony in five movements, the same characters
and the same places intersect in the film, crossing the ages.

– 1914 A woman lives in the hope of receiving a letter
– 1921: At school, children learn about the existence of a stick called “Anti”
– 1940: During the German occupation, some Basques
from the southern Basque Country disappear, fleeing Franco’s dictatorship.
– 1966. Four voung people discover words buried in the mountains.
– 1982: A group of parents decide to set up a Basque school for their children.


Together these stories form a puzzle. The symphony of a village that does not exist. The 20th century history of the Basque-speaking community, collected and told through the voices and eyes of the villagers.