Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Aita 2010

Directed by José María de Orbe

Light and shadows in a crumbling mansion in the Basque countryside are the central players in this exquisite, painterly study of the passage of time. “An exquisitely high-art variation on the haunted-house movie.” — Hollywood Reporter

Spain In Basque and Spanish with English subtitles
85 minutes


Luis Miñarro


José María de Orbe
Daniel V. Villamediana


Jimmy Gimferrer


Cristóbal Fernández


Luis Pescador
Mikel Goenaga


San Sebastián, London 2010; Rotterdam 2011


‘History is slow, life is fast’ in this ancient place once traversed by pilgrims on the Way of Saint James. The building’s elderly caretaker and his friend, a priest, playfully ponder mortality while planes of light shimmer and the darkness reverberates with flickering images from bygone eras. Past momentarily haunts the present as images appear on a grainy wall-screen, as though emanating from the edifice’s very stones. Dilapidated splendour and illustrious heritage don’t beguile every visitor: young thieves ransack the place, destructively impervious to the radiance of shadows. — SR

“Its colorwork is as minute as the range of grey is meticulous and infinite, deep rubies popping out of a corner illuminated by a window and the whispered shock of shadowy green against the flat modernist palette produced from the combination of the old opulence and the current decay.” — Daniel Kasman,