Scars or constituting an archive
Historiak, 2 

Constituting an archive

When the project team of Zinemaldia 70: todas las historias posibles (Zinemaldia 70: all possible stories) met for the first time in October 2018, we had a clear task: to commence work on studying and recovering the historical archive of the San Sebastian Festival.[1] Nonetheless, the first thing we did was to read the text “Constituting an Archive” by Stuart Hall before opening any boxes. 

Hall reminded us that constituting an archive means “the beginning of a new stage of self-consciousness, of self-reflexivity”: the end of innocence.[2] No matter how much we are told about the past, he continued, the materials in an archive are always alive: they can only be re-read “in the light of the present and future”.[3] And he concluded with an invitation: although a basic task of any archive is to make intelligible a series of discursive continuities through time, it is crucial to pay attention to moments of transition and rupture, which can often go unnoticed from our privileged point of view in the present.[4]

Somehow guided by Hall’s words, the first phase of our project limited its approach to the archive in the early years of the [Spanish] Transition. After the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, the Festival gradually became a platform for cinematographic and political demands from which to imagine a new democratic festival. This essay tackles some of the questions and archival materials that we studied during the 2018-2019 academic year. Under no circumstances is its objective to offer an exhaustive analysis of the period. It is rather to share a certain archival poetics: to retrace several material traces of a past that changed the history of the Festival forever.

We don’t like this

Imagine a person attending the 25th San Sebastian Festival and opening the first issue of its official magazine on 10 September 1977. At the beginning of its editorial –also for the first time written in Basque– one was able to find neither a celebration of the silver jubilee nor the usual protocol formulas, but an unusual statement: “The Festival has had 24 editions: we don’t like this”. A promise of radical change and a confrontation with its own history. 

Journal, 16 September 1977 – No: 7, p. 3

Challenging the 24 previous editions meant accountability for a past linked to the trajectory of the Franco dictatorship. The San Sebastián Festival was set up in 1953, as were most of the European festivals that comprise the contemporary circuit –Venice, Cannes, Berlin or Locarno– all of which were also founded or consolidated in the 1950s. A film festival was a complex apparatus of cultural diplomacy at the height of the Cold War. The choice of films, for example, was defined by the embassies or national film institutes of the competing countries: a type of “film Olympics” combined with the interests of a State.[5] In the case of Franco’s Spain, staging an international festival responded to the pressing need to project an image of modernity and openness abroad. The year 1953 also marked the time when the regime achieved its first diplomatic successes: the Concordat with the Vatican and the Madrid Pact. The rapid international recognition of San Sebastián, which obtained the highest category of the FIAPF (non-specialist competitive festival) in just four years, is in fact inseparable from a time when the regime was intent on repositioning itself on the international chessboard of the Cold War.[6]

The international cycle of struggles in 1968 implied a key turning point in the history of festivals. The great European festivals were faced with the response of filmmakers and radical movements demanding changes in their bureaucratic models. The boycott and cancellation of Cannes in 1968, the riots in Venice in that same year or the protests and suspension of Berlin in 1970 following an episode of censorship were much more than isolated events and led to profound changes. The choice of films was no longer totally subject to diplomatic machinations and was gradually replaced by artistic committees and boards. Curatorial criteria influenced by new aesthetic and political sensibilities burst onto the scene and more open, experimental sections were created, from the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes to the Forum in Berlin. 

While the struggles of 1968 redrew the map of international festivals, San Sebastián perpetuated its model of a festival under the strict control of the Franco regime, as represented by Miguel de Echarri, director of the Festival between 1967 and 1977. Although its coincidence with the interests of the regime did not go unnoticed by increasingly radicalised anti-Franco dissidents –the Festival came under extreme security measures during its final years – or by many international observers. The archive preserves traces of this tension. For example, a series of messages of condemnation against the Festival sent by several international guests in 1975. A telegram sent by Harry Schein, founder and director of the Swedish Film Institute, announcing the withdrawal of all Swedish films in protest against the death sentences of the anti-Franco activists Garmendia and Otaegi. De Echarri’s response makes clear the position of the Festival. He accepts the withdrawal, but does not hesitate to reprimand Schein for his “intolerable medling (sic) in the internal affairs of this country”. 

Telegram from Harry Schein to the San Sebastian Festival (September 2, 1975). San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive
Telegram from Miguel de Echarri to Harry Schein (1975). San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive

Internal affairs

Only a year later, the “internal affairs of this country” would destroy the tense balance that had sustained the Festival throughout the dictatorship. On 8 September 1976, a few days before its inauguration, a Civil Guard murdered the worker and militant of the Comisiones Obreras (Workers’ Commissions) Josu Zabala during a demonstration in Fuenterrabía that demanded amnesty and denounced the disappearance of Eduardo Moreno Bergaretxe “Pertur”. Zabala’s murder triggered a wave of uncontrollable rage. Despite the popular uproar calling for its cancellation, de Echarri decided to maintain all the Festival’s activity, apart from suspending the gala nature of its receptions. 

San Sebastián 1976 is the chronicle of a pitched and confused battle. The opening ceremony featuring Visconti’s The Innocent is preceded by a police charge. Shots and blows from the police fail not distinguish between demonstrators and authorities arriving at the Teatro Victoria Eugenia, and the latter find themselves involved in the tumult.[7] An international jury dinner is interrupted by activists dumping “rubbish and other objects” on the restaurant table.[8] A general strike with a massive following is called, as the Festival tries to appear impossibly normal and its guests wander around a city that is in mourning and taken over by the police.[9]

It is for all these reasons that the Festival board received a notification signed by Elías Querejeta and the entire team of The Disenchantment (Jaime Chávarri, 1976) on 13 September in which they announced the withdrawal of the film, which was scheduled to be shown in the Official Selection. Querejeta’s decision was seconded by a large group of journalists who also abandoned the Festival.

Letter of withdrawal from "El desencanto" (Jaime Chávarri, 1976) (September 13, 1976). San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive
Press release from journalists announcing their withdrawal from the Festival (September 13, 1976). San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive

As occurred in Cannes in 1968, a film festival coexisting with popular struggles in the streets became unbearable. The Festival’s press archive makes it clear that the journalists at the time did not escape this anachronistic echo: references to the return of the revolutionary spirit of 1968 are constant. We can read in a chronicle by Jesús Ruiz:

When I spoke in my initial chronicle of the possibility that this year’s festival might somehow resemble those of Cannes in the 1960s, I was referring to the presence of more or less undraped “starletts” (sic) on the sands of La Concha waiting for photographers eager for material for “nudie” magazines. But the truth is that if there is any resemblance to Cannes in the initial hours of this San Sebastián film festival, it is with Cannes […] in 1968, when the Parisian “response” cancelled the festival in an extremely violent manner. […] At the time of writing, San Sebastián is paralysed by the strike that had been announced on Saturday. Another Cannes 1968?[10]

For his part, Pedro Crespo, a critic for ABC and member of the Festival’s selection committee, lamented the attitudes of “those who, for one reason or another, wish to cause the suspension of the Festival, dreaming of a hypothetical ‘September 76’ similar to France’s ‘May 68′”.[11]

Although popular pressure did not lead to the cancellation of the event, September 76 made it clear that the Festival was facing an uncontrollable mobilisation. Beyond journalistic tropes, the facts of this edition and especially the transformations that the Festival underwent in the following years allow us to speak of a shifted 68. Or, more precisely, of a late episode of the “long 68”. With this I want to underline that “68” was not a fetish year but a cycle of struggles that extended in space and time. And it also branched out with local declensions until well into the 1970s.


The changes followed one another in a dizzying manner. The State transferred the management of the Festival to the city of San Sebastián in late 1976. For the first time, the organisation was no longer remote-controlled from the headquarters of the Ministry of Information and Tourism in Madrid, but was taken over by local administration. In the complex context of negotiations and balance of forces of the Transition, this movement resulted in the creation of an interim steering committee in 1977. Along with the traditional chairs occupied by representatives of the film industry and public administrations, the committee incorporated new representatives from popular movements, such as artists’ associations, film clubs and, above all, neighbourhood associations. After a decade of uninterrupted direction by de Echarri (indisposed by an illness that would cost him his life a few months later), new unexpected characters began to populate the landscape of the Festival. The year 1977 also marked the return of several exiles.

On 20 August, the filmmaker Antonio Eceiza wrote to the Festival from Mexico, the country to which he fled the political persecution of the dictatorship.

Letter from Antxon Eceiza to Luis Gasca sent from Mexico City (August 20, 1977). San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive

The purpose of the letter was somewhat trivial: Eceiza wrote to the Festival’s secretary general, Luis Gasca, to see if the organisation could cover his travel expenses to San Sebastián to present his film Mina, Wind of Freedom (1976), which was selected for the Information Section and was to be entered as a Cuban film, given that, as he wrote, “Mexicans are not interested in entering such a film”. The letter ends by describing a fascinating scene: 

Yesterday, we had lunch with [Luis] Alcoriza and [Luis] Buñuel and the old man is very excited about going [to San Sebastián] after a visit to the ophthalmologist in Barcelona […]. He has also decided that he is Basque and his surname is Buñuelegui. He is like a child.

Apart from its relaxed tone, it is worth pausing at this scene. Three exiles eating together in Mexico a few weeks before returning to a country they had left for political reasons. They will all attend the 1977 Festival and be recognised with honours. Alcoriza will be the president of the international jury. Eceiza will not only present his film, but will become a key player in the organisation of the Festival from this edition onwards. Buñuel will be honoured with a retrospective and a Golden Shell in recognition of his entire career.

The programme of the 1977 Festival had a clear aim in mind: to voraciously recover the freedom stolen by forty years of dictatorship. It was undoubtedly difficult for spectators to divorce themselves from the brutality of Franco’s repression. From its official competition to its parallel sections, a red thread connected films about torture in Venezuela by Pérez Jiménez –The Name Was SN (Luis Correa, 1977)– in colonised Algeria –The Question (Laurent Heynemann, 1977)– and, in a much more disturbing way for the remnants of Franco’s regime, in the Basque country –with State of Emergency (Iñaki Núñez, 1977), a short film that only a year earlier had cost its team prison sentences. (Pedro Crespo, again from his ABC platform, observed with undisguised anxiety the existence of an “unofficial series on torture” at the Festival).[12] The memory of Federico García Lorca also ran through the programme in many forms, from a feature film in its Official Section, To an Unknown God (Jaime Chávarri, 1977), to a short film, Lorca y la Barraca (Miguel Alcobendas, 1977), or an Italian miniseries, L’assassinio di García Lorca (Alessandro Cane, 1977), the latter two programmed in the Other Cinema section. Similarly, the last political executions of Franco’s regime –the same ones for which the Festival had been boycotted two years earlier– were honoured in Expediente (Carlos Rodríguez Sanz and Manuel Coronado, 1977), awarded the Golden Shell for best short film, while Mina, Wind of Freedom concluded with Txiki’s final words accompanied by the Eusko Gudariak [anthem of the Basque nationalist troops who fought against fascism] as sung by the Cuban National Choir. 

Not only on the screen: any meeting during the course of the Festival seemed inclined to lead to a combative stance. A meeting of Basque filmmakers at the Photographic Society of Guipúzcoa led to the foundation of the Euskal Zine Egille Elkartea (Basque Filmmakers Association), clearly aimed at rupture.[13] Similarly, a roundtable on “Cinema and historical testimony” put into practice its own theme of discussion with the drafting of a manifesto against United Artists, which had refused to transfer to San Sebastián the exhibition rights of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975), scheduled as part of the Italian director’s full retrospective at that year’s Festival.[14] The signatories of the manifesto against the American major were inspired by a certain intuition: the misgivings that the big film industry had about the radical turnaround that San Sebastián was beginning to describe. Perhaps for this very reason, the messages of support for the Festival’s new board did not cease to come from some of its most illustrious guests in 1977. Like Joris Ivens, who, after having crossed the Pyrenees for the first time after the shooting of The Spanish Earth (1937), did not hide his admiration for what he perceived as “the shift from an authoritarian festival to another in which the people of the town are actively participating”.[15]

Star wars and class struggle

On 17 September 1977, while Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) was being premiered in the Official Section at the Victoria Eugenia, Eceiza was discussing Mina, Wind of Freedom with the audience at the Don Bosco parish cinema in Intxaurrondo. 

Harrison Ford eta Carrie Fisher aktoreak Victoria Eugenia Antzokiko eskaileretan, sari banaketa amaitu ondoren
Antxon Eceiza during a Q&A after the screening of "Mina, viento de libertad" at the Don Bosco cinema in Intxaurrondo, on September 17, 1977 (© Maite Berradre, 1977)

The screening of Mina was part of the section called Neighbourhoods and Villages, one of the most radical initiatives of this new democratic Festival promoted by the representatives of the Neighbourhood Associations in the Steering Committee. From 1977 to 1986, Neighbourhoods and Villages developed an ambitious programme to decentralise the Festival’s programme, taking the film screenings to talks in working-class neighbourhoods and municipalities throughout the Basque Country and Navarra. In one of the photographs preserved in the Festival archive, we can see one of the offices of the Neighbourhoods and Villages section in 1978, the parish church that served as the base of operations for the Ulía Neighbourhood Association.  Next to the poster announcing the screening, we can read a quote from Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littín, an official jury member that year and enthusiastic collaborator of the section, displayed by the Neighbourhoods and Villages team to summarise its project: “We have to look for new circuits so that people can see the films, to go to neighbourhood associations, prisons and villages to encourage debates, because the filmmaker is an instrument of the working classes”.[16]

Corazón de María de Ulía Parish Church, headquarters of Barrios y Pueblos, during the Festival.

In this search for new circuits, neighbourhoods such as Intxaurrondo became unexpected epicentres of the Festival’s activity. A photograph published in the official journal records the people coming out of another massive screening at the Don Bosco during the 1977 edition: a screening of 1900 (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1977) attended by the director and the actress Laura Betti, who can be seen in the middle of the crowd.

Journal, 21 September 1977 – No.: 12, p. 29

It is an image of outpouring. A spatial outpouring: the Festival leaving noble auditoriums and beginning to outline a new film/geography. And also social: one need only compare the audience gathered at the Don Bosco with the ostentatious rituals of the gala shows at the Victoria Eugenia. But, above all, conceptual: until this moment, the film screenings never included open discussions with the audience, a practice imported from the world of film clubs and that will never be left out of the Festival from this moment on.

The Neighbourhoods and Villages section was an attempt to accompany the demands of a society agitated by passionate political struggles through a deliberate peripheral activity. The initiative opened a crack that, for example, took advantage of the San Sebastián Women’s Assembly to propose and put into practice an autonomous section dedicated to films made by women in the 1978 edition. However, the shockwaves of this explosive moment were also felt on the Festival’s official screens. The walls of the cinemas could barely contain the noise of the outside world –at times literally– within this deafening context. 

Background noise

In 1978, the Danish film Skytten, directed by Tom Hedegaard and translated as The Marksman: Anti-Nuclear Violence, was presented in the Official Section. The Festival journal announced: “An attractive, political film. The main character –’the marksman’– becomes a terrorist to prevent the introduction of nuclear energy in Denmark”.[17]

The screening of The Marksman took place within a context of mobilisation against the construction of a nuclear power plant in Lemóniz: a struggle initiated by grassroots anti-nuclear organisations and made tense by the irruption, a few months prior to the start of the Festival, of two attacks claimed by ETA(m). The journalists covering the Festival noted in their reports how the premiere of The Marksman was literally shaken by these circumstances. For example, the director’s press conference was interrupted by several activists from the Basque Anti-Nuclear Committee who unexpectedly sat down at the table next to him to address the media. The chronicles recount how the screenings of this thriller were indistinguishably confused with the tensions of the outside world, as occurred during a screening of the film at the Victoria Eugenia: “given that the film is a discourse on terrorism,” we read in Cinema 2002, “shots began to be heard 100 metres away, as the Forces of Public Order were containing and confronting some protesting abertzales[Basque nationalists] whose faces were covered and were responding with stones and objects”.[18]

Throughout our work on the archive, we often wonder where to locate traces of these background clashes and conflicts. When we began to explore the Festival’s photographic collection, we hoped to find images that reflected their tense coexistence with the ongoing social war. But what we found at first glance was highly pacified material, far from any revolutionary punctum: smiling personalities on the red carpet (which I will return to in a moment), press conferences, the venues where the Festival was taking place. But some signs began to emerge after looking at the photographs in detail, like small notches in the images. One photograph in particular obsessed our team for a while.

Photographs of facilities (1978). San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive

It is a photograph classified in an apparently non-descript series: “Photos of facilities”, a record of the Festival’s venues and promotional materials that adorned the city. The initial aim of the photograph was presumably to document the 1978 Festival’s advertising poster on the Boulevard. Nonetheless –and we do not know if by chance or by intention– the image creates a perfect symmetry between the official poster in the foreground and a banner of the Alde Hemendik/Get Out of Here movement in the background. This trace of the struggles underway, which could perhaps go unnoticed as “background noise”, left an imprint in our imagination: it reminded us of the importance of paying attention to the margins, to the background, to the actions and gestures that the archive does not “consciously” record and whose importance only makes sense from a future viewpoint enabled by an open archive.

Months later, as we analysed the press archive, we unexpectedly came across this same banner again in a photographic report published by the Polish magazine Razem

Razem, November 12, 1978. Press dossier P.1978.INT.A-Y, San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive

The report by Razem contained other photographs, such as the only visual documentation of the protests that took place around the Victoria Eugenia in 1978 that we have so far been able to locate in the archive.

Razem, November 12, 1978. Press dossier P.1978.INT.A-Y, San Sebastian International Film Festival Archive

These are perhaps the same riots that the spectators of The Marksman heard from the cinema. It is clear that this scene, which we can only imagine by recomposing various fragments –a chronicle of a spectator, a mundane photographic record, images taken by a Polish press team– reminds us of a basic principle announced by our project’s title: that one point of view will never be enough to reconstruct all possible stories. Or, to use John Berger’s words, that “Never again shall a single story be told as though it were the only one”.[19]

Placing the body

A montage endeavour, therefore. Narrative construction and establishing critical relations between various points of view. 

The actor and artist José Pérez Ocaña and the actor and director Pierre Clémenti at the main entrance of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre after their arrival.

In this photograph, taken in 1979 and widely reproduced, we can see a classic image in the visual culture of film festivals: the entrance of personalities on the red carpet. In this case, the artist José Luis Pérez Ocaña entering the Victoria Eugenia, “the Festival Palace”, on the arm of actor Pierre Clémenti. Faithful to his own aesthetic-political practice, Ocaña appears as a transvestite, with his characteristic appropriation of the aesthetic of popular religious devotion. 

But we had to locate at least two more points of view to unravel the full political power of this image. 

The actor and artist José Pérez Ocaña and the actor and director Pierre Clémenti at the main entrance of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre after their arrival.
The actor and artist José Pérez Ocaña and the actor and director Pierre Clémenti arriving at the main entrance of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre.

Every detail of this image describes a moment of tension and rupture: a desecration. The pamphlet that Clémenti is holding in his hands, in which the emblem of the Gestoras Pro-Amnistía can be distinguished, allows us to imagine the meeting and perhaps conversation between the artists and activists who were most likely protesting at the doors of the theatre a few moments before these photographs were taken. But, above all, the meeting between Ocaña and the florists –who were in charge of pinning a flower on the lapels of the gentlemen entering the foyer, now halted– dismantles a whole system of gender classification codified in gala rituals by way of direct action.

In 1979, with the Danger and Social Rehabilitation Act partially in force, sexual dissent literally meant risking one’s life. A national policeman shot the transvestite Francis in the face in Rentería a few months before these photographs were taken. The crime triggered a wave of protests that some activists describe as the “Basque Stonewall”: a climate of widespread mobilisation that implied the final impetus for the founding of EHGAM (the Gay Liberation Movement of the Basque Country).[20]

Against this background, the Neighbourhoods and Villages committee invited EGHAM activists to select and present a series of films as part of their programme at the 1979 Festival. We were able to interview one of them, Mikel Martín Conde, on several occasions in the course of our research. His testimony gave us access to valuable factual information: the names of the EGHAM members who accompanied him –Emilia Martín Sánchez, Santiago Vicente Altxu, Joseba Sansinenea and Juantxo Quiroga– the selection of films they proposed and presented –Sebastiane (Derek Jarman, 1976), A Man Called Autumn Flower (Pedro Olea, 1978) and Fox and His Friends (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975)– and their perfectly articulated awareness that traditional festivals (“big festivals, posturing festivals, ones that gave cities their cachet”) were being subverted from within.[21]

As the pioneering work of the Popular Memory Group reminds us, oral history is much more than the subjective description of remote events. Oral testimonies are often the only way to access and elaborate on lived experiences that have left no trace in other sources. A series of traces that allow connections to be woven between private memory and public representation, between past experiences and present situations, between what the institutional archive has recorded and what it has omitted.[22]

So we soon realized that Mikel’s words revealed an added political dimension. It would be too simple to imagine the sessions of Neighbourhoods and Villages curated by EGHAM as simple acts of proselytism aimed at the audience. What helped us to understand Mikel’s testimony was that the main political effect of these screenings was on the militants themselves. In other words, that the most relevant aspect of this initiative was not so much its function of agitation or awareness raising but primarily its capacity to articulate and empower an emerging political subjectivity:

I clearly, and with great enthusiasm, recall Lasarte with a packed cinema at the Tedoso. We were talking face to face after the screening was over. I thought it was impressive that people stayed for the discussion […] I was perfectly aware, we all were, that we were also a crowd-puller, because of the allure and novelty of [meeting] gays and lesbians. But it was wonderful: people were extremely respectful, with a lot of love. I hold that memory dear to my heart. And we were convinced that we were somehow doing something that had a future: to be able to live emotional and sexual diversity on an equal footing.[23]


Film historian Thomas Elsaesser wrote that, despite their many contradictions –their integration into the global circuits of creative industries, their almost ritual celebration of glamour and stardom– we can also view film festivals as something of “repositories and virtual archives of the revolutions that have failed to take place in Europe over the past 50-60 years”.[24] Despite all their changes, festivals bear the scars of the convulsed political histories that have shaped them. We could of course approach the “radical years” of the San Sebastián Festival in the 1970s from other perspectives and accents. For example, highlighting the uncertainty and technical and organisational problems that marked these years. Or highlighting how the FIAPF withdrew its maximum accreditation of it in 1980, which would not be returned until 1985 with a “return to order” that was largely brought about by Pilar Miró’s film administration.

Although all these aspects undoubtedly deserve rigorous, documented study, the aim of this essay has been different, far removed from the trend that forces us to recall the struggles of the past inevitably in the key of defeat. For a moment, it was a matter of allowing ourselves to be affected by the “operational existence” of a moment in which imagining a radical change in the political dimension of culture not only seemed an urgent obligation but inevitable.

[1] The Zinemaldia 70 research project is promoted by the San Sebastián Festival and Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (EQZE). The first team, comprising curatorial and archival students from the first year of EQZE, included Antonio M. Arenas, Irati Cano, Telmo Edurza, Sara Hernández, Julieta Juncadella, Felipe Montoya, Clara Rus and Neus Sabaté. Thank you all of you for your work and enthusiasm. This essay was originally published in AMA (Artium Museoa Aldizkaria) 00 (2021): 101-126.

[2] Stuart Hall, “Constituting an Archive”, Third Text 15, no. 54 (2001): 89.

[3] Stuart Hall, “Constituting an Archive”, Third Text 15, no. 54 (2001): 92.

[4] Stuart Hall, “Constituting an Archive”, Third Text 15, no. 54 (2001): 92.

[5] Marijke de Valck, Film Festivals: From European Geopolitics to Global Cinephilia (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007), 53 seq.

[6] While Franco’s Spain was normalising its relations with the US and obtained the so-called “A category” of the FIAPF in 1957, Karlovy Vary and Moscow did not obtain it until 1959, being forced to operate over an alternating two-year period. See Caroline Moine, “La Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films: un acteur controversé de la promotion du cinéma après 1945”, Le Mouvement Social, no. 243 (2013): 99.

[7] J. Berruezo, “Carga de la policía contra un cortejo de manifestantes que acompañaban al alcalde”, ABC, 9 December 1976, San Sebastián Festival Archive.

[8] Miguel Ángel González, “San Sebastián-76: transformarse o perecer”, Cinema 2002 21 (November 1976): 36.

[9] Diego Galán, “El conflictivo Festival de cine de San Sebastián”, Triunfo 713 (25 September 1976): 14-15.

[10] Jesús Ruiz, “El Festival en el contexto conflictivo del País Vasco”, El Correo Catalán, 15 September 1976, San Sebastián Festival Archive.

[11] Pedro Crespo, “El Festival de Cine de San Sebastián, amenazado de suspensión”, ABC, 14 September 1976, San Sebastián Festival Archive.

[12] Pedro Crespo, “‘La pianola’, del soviético Nikita Mikhalkov, obtiene la Gran Concha de Oro”, ABC, 22 September 1977, San Sebastián Festival Archive.

[13] “Por el cine vasco”, Punto y Hora de Euskal Herria 58 (20 October 1977): 38.

[14] “[Letter of protest against United Artists]”, n.d., AG.1977-78.145, San Sebastián Festival Archive. The signatories of the initial draft (Rosa Montero, Román Gubern, Laura Betti, Eduardo Chillida, Ricardo Muñoz Suay and Elías Querejeta, among others) were joined by other international figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Costa-Gavras and Elio Petri. 

[15] “Entrevista con Joris Ivens”, Festival. 25 Festival Internacional de Cine [“Festival Barrios” supplement], 19 September 1977, San Sebastián Festival Archive.

[16] Littín’s words had been published a few days earlier in the Festival’s official journal. See J.L. Aguinaga, “El jurado, uno a uno: Miguel Littín”, Festival, 9 October 1978, San Sebastián Festival Archive.

[17] “Películas a concurso, hoy: Skytten”, Festival, 17 September 1978, San Sebastián Festival Archive.

[18] Manuel Hidalgo and Juan Hernández Les, «El segundo año de la Transición: San Sebastián 78», Cinema 2002 45, 1978: pp. 32-33.

[19] John Berger, G.: A Novel (London: Bloomsbury, 1996).

[20] Joseba Gabilondo Marques, “Garrantzitsua da nondik gatozen gogoratzea”, interviewed by Amaia Lekunberri Ansola, Argia, accessed 14 June 2020,

[21] Mikel Martín Conde, personal interview (17 September 2019).

[22] Popular Memory Group, “Popular memory: theory, politics, method”, in Making Histories: Studies in History-writing and Politics, pub. Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (New York: Routledge, 2007), 392-484.

[23] Mikel Martín Conde, personal interview (17 September 2019).

[24] Thomas Elsaesser, “Film Festival Networks. The New Topographies of Cinema in Europe”, in European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood(Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2005), 103-4.