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Friday, June 21, 2024


Patria , the novel by writer Fernando Aramburu, winner of the 2017 National Narrative Award , is the basis for a new HBO series that focuses on the conflict with ETA and the consequences that left thousands of families injured, separated and deeply marked.

The history of Patria (the new Spanish series that you must have on the radar), which involved three years of hard work to bring it to the screen, jumps between the past and the present to show one of the most difficult moments in the history of Spain , taking us to know two different sides of the ETA armed conflict and the different ways in which it touched the lives of the country’s inhabitants.

The story begins with Bittori , a woman who left her village years ago and who decides to return when the news announces that ETA is going to stop the violence. On the other side we have Miren, an old friend of Bittori, who is dedicated to taking care of her daughter who is paralyzed and who carries the memory of a son who left and another whom, years ago, she discovered participating in a violent protest.

The story of Bittori and Miren, starring actresses Elena Irutera and Ane Gabarain respectively, comes together again when Bittori returns to town, opening old wounds and becoming an announcement that peace will not last long.

Aitor Gabilondo , the creator of the series, takes the story of Aramburu to take a journey through the years with which little by little he shows us how it was that these two women ended up hating the other, in addition to the vision of their children and the events that left them destroyed, some physically and others psychologically.

It is not a series full of action or great effects, it takes place in an ordinary town, with small streets and restaurants in which the same men have sat playing cards or enjoying a drink with friends for years, but it is a deep, human and complex story with which its creators show us that villains and victims can take many forms, and that a single conflict can radically transform the lives of thousands of people. This could certainly be one of the best series on HBO .

Why see Homeland?

The history of the ETA, but different

This is not a war story, it does not focus on armed conflicts or acts of terrorism, nor on political positions. Patria (which opens on September 27) focuses on normal people who had to make their lives in difficult times, and makes it very clear that all are victims of the tragedy.

Bittori represents all the mothers and wives who lost a relative, Miren is the mother who has to bear the sins of her son and the pain of having lost him to violence, and the two have to find a way to get ahead and keep living even when they don’t have answers.

The face of “war” is presented by Joxe Mari (Jon Olivares), who becomes another soldier, one of many young people who, tired of injustice and in search of a better world, allowed themselves to be carried away by violence, fury and hatred.

4 characters are at the center of everything, a wife, a dead man, a mother and a prisoner, but their lives unleash a kind of butterfly effect that is felt throughout the town, even years after the incident that marked them.

Unjustified controversy?

Homeland gives different human faces to the conflict. As part of its promotion, HBO shared a poster that showed, on the one hand, a woman (in the position of The Passion of Michelangelo) holding the body of a man in the rain, and on the other a man in a fetal position, naked and on the floor of an interrogation room, while two officers relax in the background.

The poster was interpreted as an attempt to provoke controversy and want to create a parallel between the victims and the ETA “soldiers” , but, looking at the first chapters, it is clear that it is an attempt to show that every story has two sides, and that it is necessary to know both in order to move forward and, eventually, heal so as not to repeat the same.

Everything has consequences

Patria does not remain with the conflict or with the tragic event that changed the lives of Bittori and Miren , it goes much further, showing how, years later, the violence has stopped, but an internal battle continues that keeps the protagonists and your neighbors caught up in a moment in time.

A single event was the one that started it all and now there are many other lines to explore.

The visual theme

The series does not have a great soundtrack, or maybe it does, but you ignore it by getting lost in the images that are presented, a woman in the rain, a party in the town, lonely and gray streets. Patria does a great job to rebuild the mood of the time, turning an unremarkable town into an extraordinary setting in which a painful story unfolds. Like all HBO series, Patria has a cinematic style that allows you to travel back in time.

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