Back in 2012, we shared the documentary “To Say Goodbye” when the BBC told us how, after a long, obstacle-filled road, it was finally going to debut at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Today, thanks to the Basque Children of ’37 Association*, we’ve discovered an initiative by Izar Films to allow the English-language version of the documentary to be seen at no charge through May 23rd.
We think it’s an amazing initiative. This April, we commemorated some of the bombings perpetrated by the insurgents and their German and Italian allies on civilian Basque populations, especially on Guernica. This military action was what convinced Great Britain to open its doors to the refugee children. The description of the tragedy by British journalists, and its international repercussions, especially the chronicle by George L. Steer, finally broke the British government’s resistance, who, from their position of “neutrality”, had always been sympathetic to the rebels. What’s more, two days before the free screening period ends, on May 21, will be the commemoration of the when the ships carrying the children set sail for the UK.
We cannot recommend this documentary highly enough. It was produced by Izaskun Arandia and directed by Matt Richards.
In addition to the video link, we’ll leave you with an article written by Gregorio Arrien. He unites two qualities that we find highly inspiring: not only is he a Basque Passionist priest, he was also a student of history, and of the stories, of the Basque children who had to flee their homes to escape the cruelty of the insurgents. He died a few months ago, and as we recalled in our memorial to him, when he died, Gregorio Arrien died as a Basque, a Passionist, a historian, and a patriot.
To watch the film, click on the play button in the window below.
El exilio vasco en Gran Bretaña, 1937-1940. Gregori Arrien
*Basque Children of ’37 is a British association which safeguards, protects, and shares the memory of the Basque boys and girls who went there during the war, and that of all the people whose commitment, hard work, and determination finally managed to get the borders open to them, and who took care of them during their stay. We’ve spoken about them on numerous occasions, and we’ll keep doing so as long as we can, because they are doing essential work: safeguarding our memory and honoring those who came before.