Giant (2017 film)

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Handia poster.jpg
Spanish release poster
Directed byAitor Arregi
Jon Garaño
Produced byXabier Berzosa
Iñaki Gómez
Iñigo Obeso
Written byAndoni De Carlos
José Mari Goenaga
Aitor Arregi
Jon Garaño
StarringJoseba Usabiaga
Eneko Sagardoy
Iñigo Aranburu
Ramón Agirre
Aia Kruse
Music byPascal Gaigne
CinematographyJavier Agirre Erauso
Edited byLaurent Dufreche
Raúl López
Kowalski Films
Moriarti Produkzioak
Release date
  • 23 September 2017 (2017-09-23) (San Sebastián)
  • 20 October 2017 (2017-10-20) (Spain)
Running time
114 minutes
(some dialogue in Spanish, French, English, Arabic and Portuguese)
Box office$912,912[1][2]

Giant (Original title: Handia) is a 2017 Basque language drama film directed by Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño.[3] The film is based on the life of Miguel Joaquín Eleizegui Arteaga (1818-1861) who suffered from gigantism and was known as the "Giant from Altzo". The film premiered at the 2017 San Sebastián International Film Festival, where it was awarded the Special Jury Prize.[4] The film was also screened at the 2017 BFI London Film Festival.[5]

At the 32nd Goya Awards, the film won ten awards, including Best Original Screenplay, Best New Actor (Eneko Sagardoy), and Best Original Score (Pascal Gaigne).[6]


An unwilling conscript in the First Carlist War, Martín returns to his family's farmhouse to find that his younger brother Joaquín has become a giant. Martín sees the commercial opportunity in marketing the "tallest man on Earth" as a freak attraction, and they travel around Europe with the increasingly distressed Joaquín serving as a circus act. Joaquín measures himself each night and is horrified that he continues to grow, well into adulthood, suspecting that the condition is terminal.

For a time Martín believes he is at home with sophisticated medical doctors interested in understanding his brother's condition, yet his background, clothes, and Basque accent betray him, and they laugh at him as a mere farmhand or peasant. Embittered, he travels abroad.

In one scene, the brothers visit Stonehenge, England, where in a surreal, early morning ritual, Joaquín is introduced to a potential female love interest, who is also a giant.[7] She seems interested, but Joaquín is too self-conscious and possessing a self awareness Martin lacks, in the end repulsed by someone of a similar condition.

Critical appraisal[edit]

The film won several Goya awards in Spain and has been described as the most technically accomplished to date Basque-language movie. English language critics have been equally enthusiastic, praising especially its visual brilliance while noting that the plot loses momentum towards the end.[7]

Giant has a rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes indicating mostly favourable reviews.[8]


  • Joseba Usabiaga as Martín
  • Eneko Sagardoy as Joaquín
  • Iñigo Aranburu as Arzadun
  • Ramon Agirre as Antonio
  • Aia Kruse as María


Awards Date of ceremony Category Nominees Result Ref.
65th San Sebastián International Film Festival September 30, 2017 Golden Shell for Best Film Nominated [4]
Special Jury Prize Won
V Premios Feroz January 22, 2018 Best Drama Film Nominated [9][10]
Best Director Aitor Arregi
Jon Garaño
Best Original Soundtrack Pascal Gaigne Won
Best Film Poster Iñaki Villuendas Won
32nd Goya Awards February 3, 2018 Best Film Nominated
Best Director Aitor Arregi
Jon Garaño
Best New Actor Eneko Sagardoy Won [11][12]
Best Original Screenplay Jon Garaño
José María Goenaga
Aitor Arregi
Best Production Supervision Ander Sistiaga Won [13][14]
Best Editing Laurent Dufreche
Raúl López
Best Original Score Pascal Gaigne Won
Best Cinematography Javier Aguirre Erauso Won
Best Art Direction Mikel Serrano Won
Best Costume Design Saioa Lara Won
Best Makeup and Hairstyles Ainhoa Eskisabel
Olga Cruz
Gorka Aguirre
Best Sound Iñaki Díez
Xanti Salvador
Best Special Effects Jon Serrano
David Heras


  1. ^ "Handia (Giant)". The Numbers. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Handia (Giant)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  3. ^ Belinchón, Gregorio (25 September 2017). "El ying y el yang del gigante vasco". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Official Awards - FIAPF". San Sebastián International Film Festival. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Giant". BFI London Film Festival. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  6. ^ Blanes, Pepa (February 3, 2018). "Premios Goya 2018 'La librería', de Isabel Coixet, triunfa en los Goya de las mujeres". RTVE (in Spanish). Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Holland, Jonathan. "'Giant' ('Handia'): Film Review"., 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018
  8. ^ "Handia". "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 13 May 2018
  9. ^ "Lista completa de los nominados a los Premios Feroz 2018". ECartelera (in Spanish). 6 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  10. ^ "La lista completa de ganadores de los premios Feroz 2018". El Huffington Post (in Spanish). 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Eneko Sagardoy, mejor actor revelación por 'Handia'". Radiotelevisión Española (in Spanish). February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  12. ^ EFE (February 4, 2018). "Eneko Sagardoy, Goya al mejor actor revelación por "Handia"". EL Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "Ander Sistiaga, Mejor Dirección de Producción por 'Handía". Radiotelevisión Española (in Spanish). February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Ander Sistiaga, Mejor Dirección de Producción por 'Handia'". Europa Press (in Spanish). Madrid. February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.

External links[edit]