Skip to content


Gerard Ortín Castellví


In Araba (Basque Country), some of the effects arising from the drastic reduction of the wolf population, as well as various human interventions that have been implemented in an attempt to neutralise it.  
Mysterious rituals take place in the forests of the Spanish Basque Country: animal carcasses are dumped by a mechanical shovel, and men armed with bows and arrows shoot at foam creatures. Off-screen, a conversation about using predators’ urine to repel vermin gives us a clue as to the common denominator of these scenes: all of them are linked to the decline of wolves in the Basque forests. « Reserve » shows how easy it is for man to become ensnared when he tries to master nature. After hunting wolves, here he is forced to counter its disappearance through different ploys – in the wolf’s absence, some species become invasive. Like the first shot in film, Gerard Ortín Castellví organises his story so as to plunge the spectator into the mists – an approach more in line with our relation to the world than the usual sharpness of cinematic images. Who can claim to have an accurate overview of the mechanisms that govern our environment? The break in the narrational chain of cause and effect heightens the horror and absurdity that are the symptoms of our inability to foresee the consequences of our acts. The universe portrayed by Reserve is full of pretences that we use to try to cobble together a vision of the world that is coherent and comfortable enough to compensate for the atrophy of our animal instinct. But as time passes and the senses grow blunted, we risk forgetting that the seemingly parallel walls of wolf traps in fact converge on a precipice.Olivia Cooper-Hadjian

PRINT SOURCE: Pirenaika,

In the same section