The Baztan Trilogy Review: Part Police Procedural, Part Family Drama Set In The Navarre Spain - GMonsterTV

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The Baztan Trilogy Review: Part Police Procedural, Part Family Drama Set In The Navarre Spain

The Baztan Trilogy consists of three films-- "The Invisible Guardian" (2017), "The Legacy Of The Bones" (2019), and "Offering To The Storm (2020). 

All are currently available on NetFlix. The trilogy is based on the books of Dolores Redondo. She is a Spanish writer who specializes in noir novels. 

The first movie "The Invisible Guardian" begins with the discovery of a naked murdered teenager on the banks of the Baztan River. It's in the Basque region of northern Spain known as Navarre. A serial killer is at work. Detective Amaia Salazar is called back to her hometown of Elizonda to investigate An interesting aspect of the movies is that they intertwine both the crimes and Amaia's past.  .

The second film "The Legacy Of The Bones" picks up one year later. It begins with the death of a man currently on trial. A suicide note reads "Tatallo". The Catholic church becomes involved. They believe recent church desecrations are due to the previous mistreatment of the Cagot people. Meanwhile Amiai gives birth. She and husband James name the baby boy Ibai. The mystery thickens as we learn much more about Amaia's troubled relationship with her mother Rosario.  

The third movie "Offering To The Storm" is a direct continuation of the case from the second. It is five months later. Danger is at ever turn as Amaia undercovers more and more dead babies.  I dont want to give away too much of the plot. Suffice to say, this story may be triggering for some viewers. 

There is also a prequel book called "The North Face Of The Heart". it covers Amaia's time with the FBI in the US. We see Amaia contact her FBI mentor/friend several times. At the end of the third movie, it is hinted that he and events in the US could be the focus should there be a fourth movie As far as I know though, nothing is in works.

Several interesting aspects of Basque culture are revealed: 

  • Chanchigorri Cakes- Also sppelled txantxigorri or chalchigorri. They were left on the dead girls bodies. They are a popular desert in Navarre. I personally had never heard of them. They are made from fried pork, lard, bread dough and sugar.   
  • Walnuts- Used by witches to do their bidding. They are often stuffed in the victim's pockets.
  • Basajuan- A large hairy creature that lives in the woods. He may be similar to the Yeti or Bigfoot. They were rumored to show humans how to farm and make tools. His name translates to "Lord of the Forest". He is seen as a benevolent giant who guards the area and chases off wolves. Hence the first film's title "Invisible Guardian" is spot on. An interesting theory is that the legend originated from early homo sapiens interactions with Neanderthals in the area (before they disappeared).   
  • Cagot- A group in Navarre that dates back to at least 1000. Not much is known of the Cagot. They were strictly segregated from the rest of society. They are not a separate ethnic or religion group. Their defining character is descent from a Cagot family. They often were carpenters, butchers, basket weavers etc, Check out this interesting article on possible origins.   
  • Inguma- also called Mauma or Baigori, an evil demon from Basque mythology that gives people nightmares and kills them in their sleep. 

Grade: 4 1/2 Monsters (out of 5).  Based on the novels of Spanish writer Dolores Redondo, the Baztan trilogy (which consist of "The Invisible Guardian", "The Legacy Of The Bones", and "Offering To The Storm") is currently available on NetFlix. The films are produced by Peter Nadermann (who also did the Stieg Larrson Millennium trilogy-- "Girl With A Dragon Tattoo' etc). He definitely knows how to translate a noir novel for the screen

The compelling series is part police procedural and part family drama.  As the story opens, Detective Amaia Salazar returns to her hometown in Elizondo (which is in the Navarre region of Spain). She is there to investigate a serial killer. Little does Amaia realize how much she'll learn about her own past in the process. An added bonus of the series is learning about the history of the area (which I knew nothing about). The town of Elizondo is almost it's own character with expansive shots of the local village (homes, bridges, churches, etc) as well as expansive overhead views of teh valley surrounding the area. There are lots of long drives through the dark woods. it seems to rain there a lot.      

Marta Etura does a excellent job as Amaia Salazar. She's someone we can root for (despite her many flaws). All of the supporting characters-- Amaia's husband James, her family (especially Auntie) as well as her coworkers are interesting to watch.

My only criticism is that the movies are a bit long and the pace slow at times. We sometimes follow story threads which dont lead anywhere. Hang in there though. The ending is worth the ride. If you liked "Silence Of The Lambs" give the Baztan Trilogy a try 

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TV: Heavy On Horror, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Adventure

December 7, 2020 

The Baztan Trilogy Review: Part Police Procedural, Part Family Drama Set In The Navarre Spain Reviewed by GMonsterTV on 7:41 AM Rating: 5 The Baztan Trilogy consists of three films-- "The Invisible Guardian" (2017), "The Legacy Of The Bones" (2019), and &quo...

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