A ROM-COM set in the Basque region has become Spain’s biggest ever home-grown box office hit.

Eight Basque surnames (Ocho apellidos vascos) tackles the politically sensitive issue of identity in the Basque region in a comic way, with an Andalucian man pretending to be a proud Basque solely to woo a Basque woman.

The film, released on March 14, has broken the Spanish-made film record for cinema ticket sales with 6.6 million so far. This record was previously held by The Others, starring Nicole Kidman and released in 2001.

Its box office takings, 38.8 million, are also the fourth biggest in Spain ever, after Avatar, The Impossible and Titanic, according to Universal Pictures Spain.

Director Emilio Martinez Lazaro was quoted as saying that if ETA – an armed separatist movement which promised an end to decades of violence in 2011 – were still active, the film could not have been made.


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