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Information about films that will be shown at the 2019 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 28-February 2, 2019, will be published in mid-December 2018.

Meanwhile, we invite you to enjoy these trailers from films shown during our 34th Gathering:

AMERIKANUAK (2010) (92 minutes, subtitled)
Wednesday, January 31, 9:00-10:45am,
Western Folklife Center G Three Bar Theater
Friday, February 2, 2:15-3:45pm, Northeastern Nevada Museum Theater
Saturday, February 3, 11:00am-12:45pm,
Northeastern Nevada Museum Theater
More than half a century ago, many Basques left Spain to look for a better life working as sheepherders in the American West. In Amerikanuak, Nacho Reig looks at the lives of some of the last remaining Basque sheepherders in the United States. Against the backdrop of the winter landscape of Elko, Nevada, immigrants such as Juan “Parillas” Juaristi, an 83-year-old resident at a Basque boardinghouse, reflect on the difficulties that many of these immigrants faced in forging new lives in a foreign country, their nostalgia for what was left behind, and their effort to preserve Basque culture. A film about Spanish emigration, adaptation, courage, community and a rapidly disappearing way of life. Directed by Nacho Reig.

BERTSOLARI (2011) (83 minutes, subtitled)
Wednesday, January 31, 11:00am-12:30pm, Western Folklife Center G Three Bar Theater
Friday, February 2, 12:30-2:00pm Northeastern Nevada Museum Theater

In this film, Asier Altuna and Txintxua Films began to tell the story of bertsolaritza, improvised verse in Euskara, the Basque language. But along the way, they encountered silence, art and the precipice of improvisation. They too ended up improvising. The bertsolari is the improviser of verse sung in Euskara. This oral tradition has managed to evolve and adapt to the times, connecting with the younger generations. It is a surprising art of austere aesthetics in these days of spectacle and special effects. A performance that in the grand finale of the last championship gathered 14,000 people to watch eight bertsolaris vie live against one another. Directed by Asier Altuna (Txintxua Films).

SONG OF THE BASQUES (2015) (88 minutes, subtitled)
Thursday, February 1, 2:00-3:30pm, Elko Conference Center Lamoille Room
Friday, February 2, 10:30am-12:15pm, Northeastern Nevada Museum Theater
Saturday, February 3, 2:00-3:45pm, Black Box Theater, Western Folklife Center Wiegand Gallery

Following the lives of several contemporary Basques, this film explores the extraordinary tale of their culture’s survival over centuries of friction between tradition and innovation. As our global society struggles to peacefully maintain identities and responsibly pursue modernization, Basques offer a novel perspective on leading an internationally local and progressively traditional life. Produced by Emily Lobsenz (Daggewood Films).

In this video from the Western Folklife Center Archives, cowboy poet and Montana rancher Wallace "Wally" McRae tells a true story about Northern Plains ranching, with a moving tribute to a special neighbor, E.M. "Red" Kluver.

Saturday, February 3, 10:45am-12:15pm, Elko Convention Center Turquoise Room
Includes a conversation with Wally McRae.
Renowned poet Wally McRae delivers some of his favorite poems in this series filmed at hand-picked locations on Wally’s home ground and home ranch along Rosebud Creek in eastern Montana. These poetic appearances, filmed at all seasons of the year and over a two-year period, became a regular segment of a weekly TV magazine, The West, produced by KCRA-TV, Sacramento. As Wally proudly comments, “I was kind of the ‘Andy Rooney’ of this show.”  As the film credits testify, the whole family got involved, with catering by Wally’s wife Ruth, scouting by his son Clint, and star appearances by his dog Maggie.
Produced and directed by Jim Abel, Production West (Billings).

ZURETZAKO (2012) (45 minutes, subtitled)
Thursday, February 1, 12:30-1:15pm, Northeastern Nevada Museum Theater
Friday, February 2, 10:45-11:45am, Elko Conference Center Lamoille Room
Saturday, February 3, 11:00-11:45am, Black Box Theater, Western Folklife Center Wiegand Gallery

The first American-made Basque-language film, Zuretzako tells the story of filmmaker and Princess Grace Award-Winner Javi Zubizarreta’s grandfather. Zuretzako tells the story of the sacrifices that fathers make and the toll they take on their sons. To support his family in the Basque Country, Joaquin herds sheep in the hills of Idaho, miles away from his home. When his son joins him herding, years of separation and sacrifice come to a head. Zuretzako is about those who came before us and the gratitude they deserve. Across mountains and canyons, it is a chance to reflect on the strength of love and family and a unique look into the lives of the men and families who helped shape Basque and American life in the 20th century. Written and directed by Javi Zubizarreta.



Banner image by Jessica Brandi Lifland.