Nacho Reig | Documentary

2011 | 92 minutes | Spain

More than half a century ago, many Basques left Spain to look for a better life working as sheepherders in the American West. In Amerikanuak, Nacho Reig looks at the lives of some of the last remaining Basque sheepherders in the United States.


More than half a century ago, many Basques left Spain to look for a better life working as sheepherders in the American West. In Amerikanuak, Nacho Reig looks at the lives of some of the last remaining Basque sheepherders in the United States. Against the backdrop of the vast blue skies and bleak but beautiful winter landscape of the small town of Elko, Nevada, immigrants such as Juan “Parrillas” Juaristi, an 83-year old resident at a Basque boardinghouse, reflect on the difficulties that many of these immigrants faced in forging new lives in a foreign country, their nostalgia for what was left behind, and their effort to preserve Basque culture. The Basque group Audience created the soundtrack specifically for the film, providing the perfect background for this film about Spanish emigration, adaptation, courage, community, and a rapidly disappearing way of life.


"Moves in a territory between the Northern Exposure series and the movie Brokeback Mountain by Ang Lee." — Time Out

"A realistic vision of how Basque diaspora is located in Elko, Nevada, USA" — El País

"Amerikanuak moves away from the usual narrative feature documentaries with historical facts, opting for a more cinematic approach." — DEIA

Main credits

Reig, Nacho (film director)
Reig, Nacho (screenwriter)
Bilbao, Gorka (director of photography)
Bilbao, Gorka (editor of moving image work)
Etxebarria, Zigor (film producer)
Barredo, José-Luis (film producer)

Other credits

Photographer and editor, Gorka Bilbao; music, Audience.

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San Sebastián Film Festival - Zinemaldia Section
Elko Ruby Mountains Film Festival
Bogotá Documentary Film Festival

DIRECTOR: Nacho Reig


YEAR: 2011

GENRE: Documentary

LANGUAGE: Spanish; Basque

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adults



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