Pamplona (Spain), 22-27 February 

Pio Caro Baroja


Pío Caro Baroja

The honesty, elegance and coherence in his professionalism directing documentaries and his work as Spain's first ethnographic filmmaker to be advised by an anthropologist have made Pío Caro Baroja (Madrid, 1928) a relevant figure in Spanish film history, a pioneer in ethnographic documentaries.

After studying law in Madrid, in 1953 he emigrated to Mexico, where he took his first steps in the film world collaborating with Manuel Altolaguirre, Emilio Fernández and the photographer and documentarist of German origin Walter Reuter. His first works as director were Carnaval de Tepotzotlán (1955, Tepotzotlán Carnival) and Fiesta Vasca en México (1956, Basque festival in Mexico), short documentaries in which the style which would later define his filmography were already evident.

In 1964, he created the production company Documentales Folklóricos de España with his brother Julio Caro Baroja. This event can be seen as the birth of real ethnographic documentary filmmaking in Spain.

From then until the beginning of the 80s, he made nearly 40 films, including Navarra, las cuatro estaciones (1972, Navarra, the four seasons) and Guipúzcoa (1980, Guipuzcoa). Caro Baroja has made documentaries and directed series for No-Do, Spanish Television and different institutions, almost all of which belong to the genre of the ethnographic documentary.

Fascinated by Italian Neorealism, he wrote the book El neorrealismo cinematográfico italiano (1955, Italian neorealist cinema). Film critic for the Mexican newspaper Claridades, he has also worked with the Italian magazine Cinema Nuovo and Spain’s Objetivo published by Barden & Berlanga. In 1957, he published Estructuras fundamentales del cine (Basic film structures), a recompilation of film reviews and his impressions of film aesthetics.

In addition to being a filmmaker, Pío Caro Baroja is also a writer and editor. A man with a magnificent humanistic education, he has dedicated his untiring life's work to the memory and cultural legacy of his family: Caro Raggio and Baroja y Nessy.