In the year 2000, Maixabel Lasa’s husband, Juan María Jaúregui, was killed by ETA. Eleven years later, she receives an incredible request: one of the men who killed Juan wants to meet with her in the Nanclares de la Oca prison in Álava (Spain), where he is serving his sentence after breaking ties with the terrorist group. Despite her reservations and her immense pain, Maixabel Lasa agrees to meet face to face with those who ended the life of the person who had been her companion since she was 16 years old. ‘Everyone deserves a second chance’, she said, when asked why she was willing to confront the man who killed her husband.

Director's Statement

Maixabel Lasa has become a benchmark on the path that the Basque Country travels today towards coexistence. Her work as director of the Basque Government's Office for Victims of Terrorism is well known, but her personal involvement in the 2011 Restorative Meetings is not so much. There is something profoundly human about what Maixabel does: to confront the men who killed her husband to let them know the pain she suffered, to ask for answers to the questions that only they can answer, to hear them say that they deeply regret the pain caused and to assess whether there is sincerity in those words. On the other hand, these two men have made a long and difficult journey: they have left behind the justifications that one day pushed them to wield a gun to stay alone, face to face, with what they have done. They are three lives united one day by horror. Three roads that are crossed. Each one will make a different journey to the same place: hope and reparation, in a face-to-face encounter in which they go through anger, anguish, shame, and fear, but also for gratitude and for the hope of planting something even good within so much horror. The film addresses through these characters the consequences and the human cost of violence, especially for those who suffer it, but also for those who exercise it and for the whole society that houses it. With MAIXABEL we wanted to tell this story of our recent past with emotion, sincerity and, above all, a lot of respect for its protagonists.

Director's Biography

Actress, screenwriter and film director Iciar Bollain is a representative of the new generation of film director.

Born in Madrid in 1967, she started out in film at just 16, performing in Víctor Erice’s film EL SUR (1983). She continued to work as an actress, performing in different films such as UN PARAGUAS PARA TRES and LAND AND FREEDOM.

Nonetheless, she has seen greatest success as a director. Her first feature film HI, ARE YOU ALONE? was made in 1995. This was followed by FLOWERS FROM ANOTHER WORLD, TAKE MY EYES, which won seven Goyas, and MATAHARIS. Her latest films EVEN THE REAIN, THE OLIVE TREE and ROSA'S WEDDING have won several awards.

2020 - ROSA´S WEDDING, Feature
2018 - YULI, Feature
2016 - THE OLIVE TREE, Feature
2014 - IN A FOREIGN LAND, Feature
2010 - EVEN THE RAIN, Feature
2007 - MATAHARIS, Feature
2003 - TAKE MY EYES, Feature
1995 - HI, ARE YOU ALONE?, Feature

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Iciar Bollain

Written by: Iciar Bollain, Isa Campo

Produced by: Koldo Zuazua, Juan Antonio Moreno, Guillermo Sempere

Cinematography: Javier Agirre Erauso

Editing: Nacho Ruiz Capillas

Production Design: Mikel Serrano

Costume Design: Clara Bilbao

Make-Up & Hair: Karmele Soler, Sergio Pérez-Berbel

Original Score: Alberto Iglesias

Sound: Alazne Ameztoy, Juan Ferro, Candela Palencia

Visual Effects: Ana Rubio

Casting: Mireia Juárez Sanz

Cast: Blanca Portillo (Maixabel), Luis Tosar (Ibon), Urko Olazabal (Luis), Maria Cerezuela (María)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2022