Wildcards 2008 - Small Nations, Big Games - Basque pilota

Jan Jaap Kuiper Short documentary - 2010 - 8 min.

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The xistera is the sickle-shaped spoon that you toss a ball with in pilota, the national Basque sport. Henrike Olasolo's father was a famous pilota player. Henrike himself has never handled the xistera. To his great satisfaction, he lives in the Netherlands, but as we can see in Basque pilota, he frequently returns to his native soil. 'The Basque country has taught me who I am and what I love.' He remembers that the headmaster of his primary school called the Basques third-rate Spaniards. In the Spanish media, they are invariably portrayed as barbarians. He thinks that discussing the Basques' cultural identity is like tossing balls against the pilota wall. The words only bounce back. In the Basque sports centre, Henrike finally seizes the chance to operate the xistera. The outer wall of the building is plastered with political slogans, but he prefers not to talk about it. This short documentary is the first part in a series about small nations and people, and the unique sports they can focus their national pride on.


Director(s) Jan Jaap Kuiper
Production Company ThankEve productions
Submarine Film
Willeke Steenbeeke
Katja Sokolova
Director of Photography
Sound Design
Sound on Set
Katja Sokolova
TV Company
Production Country