El Lobo (The Wolf) is a film based on the true story of Mikel Lejarza. Lejarza
was a Spanish Intelligence Service agent who penetrated the Basque separatist movement ETA at the end of the Franco regime in the early 1970s.A kind of Spanish Harry’s Game, despite its documentary content the film is a beautifully shot, taunt, well-paced thriller; rich with period detail. The film deals obliquely with the societal and political changes that were happening in Spain as a whole, this is probably as important a factor on the film as the struggle for Basque independence. The film shows how the state security apparatus moves to get a prime position in preparation for the move towards democracy and repositioning itself away from being an instrument of repression to being antiterrorism specialists.
The acting is first-rate conveying the complex emotions and decisions that the informer and his handlers undergo in fulfilling their duties. It is one of the best films that I’ve seen this year.