What many of us know of Basque culture doesn't extend beyond croquetas at Bar Gernika. Naturally, Basque culture encompasses more than just delicious pintxos and folk dancing. In fact, it also extends far beyond downtown Boise into the mountains of Idaho and the Northwest. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Basques immigrated from their homeland in northern Spain to make a living in America sheepherding along the West Coast.
On Thursday, Aug. 18, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center will present a film that chronicles the story of one such sheepherder and his family. Local filmmaker Javi Zubizarreta wrote and directed the film Zuretzako, which chronicles the journey of Joaquin from adolescence to adulthood as he toils in the Idaho hills herding sheep to earn a living for himself and his family. When Joaquin's son leaves the Basque Country to join him, he faces perhaps his greatest struggle of all: witnessing his child relive his own harsh destiny.
The film is based on the story of Zubizarreta's grandfather and father, Luis. The film stars Zubizarreta's father and brother Josu in the title roles. Filmed entirely in Euskera, the ancestral Basque language, the movie was shot on location in Idaho. Zuretzako is the first film of its kind to explore the history of Basque sheepherders in the West through a narrative lens.
The cast and director will be at the Boise premiere to introduce the film and answer questions afterward. Tickets are $10 and the proceeds go to the Basque Museum and Cultural Center.