Ipar Haizearen Erronka: A boat trip from the Basque Country to Newfoundland


Basque Country
Film analysis
Whale Hunting
Basque Cinema

How to Cite

Junguitu Dronda, M. “Ipar Haizearen Erronka: A Boat Trip from the Basque Country to Newfoundland”. Mutual Images Journal, no. 10, Dec. 2021, pp. 251-70, doi:10.32926/2021.10.jun.iparh.


The nature of animated cinema involves the creation of any realistic or fantastical characters, places, and situations. Animation can be used to take characters far from their hometowns on believable journeys without big budgets used on location shooting.

The Basque animated feature film Ipar Haizearen Erronka (The Challenge of the North Wind), directed in 1992 by Juanba Berasategi, illustrates how animation can represent a journey and a historic reality in a plausible way. The movie depicts a Basque whale hunting vessel travelling to the wild coast of Newfoundland, Canada in the sixteenth century. Typically, Basque live action movies in the 80s would recreate foreign locations with nearby settings. Ipar Haizearen Erronka avoids this problem by showing America through drawings.

In this paper, we will use the movie Ipar Haizearen Erronka to interpret how animation uses backgrounds and objects to represent a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and determine the realistic accuracy of the social and historical moments represented in the movie. We will also see how this journey embodies the characteristics of the literary genre of Bildungsroman, as well as the narrative structures pointed out by Vladimir Propp’s folktale and Joseph Campbell's monomyth. The study also focuses on how the film depicts the most representative characteristics of the journey, and how they are used as filming narrative resources. A closer look will be taken into the main vessels, the captain's logbook, the map, the historical context of the sailing of the ship, the maritime laws where sexism is abundant, the financing of the trip, and the work on board.

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Copyright (c) 2022 Maitane Junguitu Dronda