Oskar Alegría

Spain 2019. 122 Min.
Color. DCP. Basque/Sp/e

The screening includes a lottery for the Festival bag 

Who does not occasionally dream of the disappearance of the self? Of a total symbiosis with fauna and flora? In Zumiriki, filmmaker Oscar Alegría, inspired by his father’s old Super8-footage, spends several months returning to the once magical place of youthful excursions and daydreams: an island in the middle of a stream, now partially flooded by a nearby dam. The small hut in this hermitage becomes a camera obscura, which paints the ghosts of trees on the walls.


Alegría was artistic director of the renowned documentary film festival Punto Vista in Pamplona / Navarra for five years, a basque maudit and modern Robinson Crusoe of river island research, who has no need of a “back to nature” manifesto. Rather, his retreat appears as the only means to (re) approach so-called “civilisation”. Rarely have conceptual art and cinema come as close as in Zumiriki. The private and the intimate are so poetically condensed in this film-essay that it can be read as a homage to the disappearing culture of pastoralism in the Basque Pyrenees, as well as a humorous contemplation of the self-appointed hermit’s clever ingenuity. And isn’t that the essence of cinema, to recover lost memories from impossible dreams. (bb)


DirectorOskar Alegría
ProducerOskar Alegría