Ongi etorri! Welcome to Discover the Basque Country, the multimedia site for the movie, The Basque Country: a Nation without Borders. Accompanied by their young son, Canadian filmmakers Amy Arnold and Étienne Trépanier travel the roads of the Basque country during several months in an attempt to uncover the intricacies of this history-rich land nestled between France and Spain. During their stay, Arnold and Trépanier are fully embedded in this nation without borders, and weave strong bonds with its proud people who have successfully preserved their distinctive language and traditions. Our filmmakers offer a North American perspective on this strong-willed European society. Watch the full length feature, The Basque Country: a Nation without Borders, or explore the pages of this website to begin your discovery of Euskal Herria, the Land of the Basques.
WHY THE BASQUE COUNTRY
It is while traveling to Newfoundland and St-Pierre-et-Miquelon that Amy Arnold and Étienne Trépanier witnessed the Basque culture for the first time. This encounter with the descendants of mariners who had come to take advantage of Canada’s cod fishery prompted them to take more interest in the mariners’ homeland.
The Basque people have an original language, Euskara, their own customs and traditions, as well as a unique social structure. Their status as a minority within the Spanish and French states is a constant challenge, and the Basque culture owes its survival to its vitality, and to the desire of its people to persevere in asserting their uniqueness. As French-Canadians and part of a francophone minority within North America, the filmmakers are captivated by the story of the Basque culture’s survival. One can easily draw parallels between the challenges facing the Basque language, and that of the French language within Quebec and Canada. Beyond language, the project is guided by the warmth of the Basque people and their desire to increase awareness of their little corner of the world as a modern and sophisticated nation.
Amy Arnold and Étienne Trépanier are two adventurers with a passion for travel. Together, they founded the film production house Tenor Films, determined to share their discoveries of the world through documentaries and travel reports. Their first feature-length film, Argentina’s Ruta 40, was well received by the Canadian public and viewed by over 100,000 people through the Les Grands Explorateurs series. Offering more than a superficial account their travels, Amy Arnold and Étienne Trépanier immerse viewers in the countrie’s day to day realities.