Male Sexuality and Basque Separatism in Two Films by Imanol Uribe


Davies A (2003) Male Sexuality and Basque Separatism in Two Films by Imanol Uribe. Hispanic Research Journal, 4 (2), pp. 121-132.

The paper aims to explore the challenge presented to Basque nationalism and separatism by male sexuality in two films by Basque film director Imanol Uribe, La muerte de Mikel (1983) and Días contados (1994). The two male protagonists of these films, Mikel and Antonio, have connections to Basque separatism and to the terrorist group ETA but also maintain transgressive sexual relations that go against bourgeois heterosexual monogamy presided over by an elder woman or mother figure. Drawing on notions of sexual transgression as antagonistic contiguity and complicity as posited by Jonathan Dollimore and Slavoj Žižek, the paper argues that the uneasy position of Basque separatism as both transgressor and transgressed gives rise to this antagonistic contiguity of which Mikel and Antonio become the victims. The film The Crying Game (Neil Jordan, 1992) indicates that transgression of itself does not necessarily require the death of the male protagonist, since in that film he survives. But in Uribe's two films, the equation between Basque separatism and the bourgeois heterosexual home means that Antonio and Mikel cannot survive a transgression that is double. The individual must die so that the Basque community can displace the slippage between transgressor and transgressed.

Hispanic Research Journal: Volume 4, Issue 2

Publication date30/06/2003
PublisherManey Publishing