Asier and I

(Asier eta Biok)
Aitor Merino, Amaia Merino | Documentary

2013 | 93 minutes | Ecuador, Spain

Asier and I follows Aitor as he ties to understand what could have led his childhood friend to join the terrorist group ETA. Armed with a camera, Aitor meets Asier upon his release from jain, ready to tell this story.

Synopsis

Asier and I tells the story of the friendship between Aitor and Asier Aranguren from their time growing up together in the conflict-affected and politicized eighties of the Basque Country. Eventually, Aitor moved to Madrid to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, and Asier joined the terrorist group ETA. Years later, Asier was arrested and interned in a French prison, where he was detained for eight years.

When Asier was released in 2010, Aitor wanted to recover his relationship with his childhood friend and try to understand what could have led to him to join ETA, so he went to his release in France with a camera in order to tell this story.

Beyond the story of Asier, Aitor, and the Basque conflict, the film raises universal questions: can we justify blood crimes on the name of an ideal? Can friendship transcend ideology and political extremism?

Narrated with humor and cinematographic devices such as direct address, Asier and I does an excellent job at keeping the spectator engaged throughout the film. The documentary remained in Spanish theaters for an impressive four months.

Reviews

"In light of the increase in political terrorism in our world today this film is particularly relevant to several subject areas. Students, faculty, and citizens interested in how terrorism and violence may be internalized and become an accepted way of responding to the need for political change may find this film a beneficial part of their discussion. Moreover, the case of Asier and Aitor serve as valuable inspiration in helping to resolve identity in pro social ways. Highly Recommended." — Malcolm L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology, Human Services, & Criminal Justice, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Anthropological Review Databse

"Has the courage to expose very difficult issues to whomever wants to learn of their merits and weaknesses." — Jordi Costa, El País

"And all this is part of a careful contextualization of the film, which not only depicts the lives of its main characters, but also manages to reproduce the asphyxiating climate of the different phases of Spain, a country recently touched by terrorism." — Jose Cabello, Cine Divergente

"Asier and I strikes the perfect tone in narrating both meaningful and painful things without transforming them into an existentialist trope...The film provokes, raises questions, and entertains at the same time." — Ivonne Guzmán, El Comercio

Citation
Main credits

Merino, Amaia (film director)
Merino, Amaia (screenwriter)
Merino, Aitor (film director)
Merino, Aitor (screenwriter)
Merino, Aitor (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Cinematography, Aitor Francisco Merino; editor, Amaia Merino; music, Alex Alvear, Alicia Alemán.


Citation
Cataloging
Keywords
terrorism, ETA, France, prison, friendship, Basque Country, spanish separatism, spanish, spanish language, latin america, latin american cinema, latin american film, ibero america, latin, latinx, latino, latina,,political science, micropolitics, macropolitics, political theory, political education, political movements, political thinking, political criticism, poly sci, polysci, political sci, political sciences, political history, history of politics, political systems,criminal justice, crime, judiciary, police reform, corrections, criminal law, judicial system, justice department, prosecution, judgement, criminal law, courts and corrections, corrections institutes,culture, identity, identity politics, culture wars, left wing, right wing, intersectionality, identity groups, civilization, literacy, humanism, cancel culture, online culture, cultural revolution, cultural diffusion, culture shock, popular culture, pop culture, material culture, cultural capital, cultural assimilation ,basque country, basque studies, basque language, basque, basques, vascos, vasco, vascongado, euskara, euskera, aquitani,iberian studies, iberian peninsula, mediterranean, andorra, spain, portugal, andorra studies, spanish studies, portuguese studies,authority, authoritarianism, dictatorship, military regime, military government, fascism, repression, oppression, political oppression, political repression, far right, far right wing, modern fascism,human rights, public rights, equal rights, freedom of expression, basic human rights, united nations, activism, human rights activism, human rights council, human rights commission, universal human rights, universal rights,international relations, global relations, global studies, international studies, international affairs, intercontinental relations, intercontinental studies, foreign studies, foreign relations, national relations, national studies, cross-continental studies, cross-continental relations,sociology, anthropology, psychology, sociological, sociological perspectives, conflict theory, human conflicts, sociological thinking,conflict perspective, topics in sociology, sociology topics, sociology studies, social studies, people and cultures, human relations, human relationships, cultural studies, culture studies ,basque,asier,Asier and I,asier eta biok,asier eta,eta,global terrorism,basque language,aiser and I,Spain: Facing Uncertainty,Asier y yo,basque country,Wim Wenders,spanish,Asier and I - Portrait of a Former Basque Terrorist,friendship,i am not a poet,spain,Theeviravaathi: The Terrorist; "Asier and I"; Pragda Films
Clips
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Festivals

San Sebastián Film Festival - Irizar Award to Basque Cinema
Festival Internacional de Cine de Guadalajara - Guadalajara Construye Postproduction Award
Human Rights Film Festival of Uruguay - Audience Award, Best Feature Award
DocsDF International Documentary Film Festival
Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival
DOKfest International Documentary Film Festival

DIRECTOR: Aitor Merino, Amaia Merino

NATIONALITY: Ecuador, Spain

YEAR: 2013

GENRE: Documentary

LANGUAGE: Spanish; Basque

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adults

SUBTITLE/CC: AVAILABLE

AUDIO DESCRIPTION: NOT AVAILABLE

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