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Film / Errementari

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A tale about a man feared by the devil himself.

Errementari: The Devil and the Blacksmith is a Basque 2017 film about a devil and a blacksmith, set after the Carlist Wars. The story begins when an orphan child named Usue meets Patxi, the blacksmith who lives isolated from the town. This intertwines with the arrival of a burgeoise from the capital who believes there is gold in the blacksmith's grounds.

This film contains examples of:

  • The Aloner: Usue and the blacksmith share this quality - which might contribute to why they get along so well.
  • Anti-Hero: Patxi - he made a Deal with the Devil to return home safely only to learn that his wife - believing he was dead - had given birth to another man's child. Patxi threatened to burn the baby before the father intervened, and Patxi killed him in a fit of rage only to be knocked out by his wife, who would commit suicide.
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  • Anti-Villain: Sartael, who ends up helping both Patxi and Usue after being informed of his demotion and deciding to stay on Earth instead of suffering the indignity.
  • The Atoner: Patxi
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When Alastor reveals his true form, he vastly towers over every character in the movie, even the other demons.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Patxi and Usue.
  • Big Red Devil: According to the Christian mythology of the setting, Sartael is plainly depicted as that.
  • The Blacksmith: Errementari translates to "The Blacksmith".
  • The Bully: The kids picking on Usue are that, especially Benito, who throws away her doll's head, inadvertently kicking off the film's plot.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Inverted. Hell instead seems to be extremely bureaucratic, from the way the demons discuss it, including Sartael getting demoted to "Fifth Circle" for being captured and revealing his true form to humanity.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Carlist's gold. It's even told at some point that one of the last good deeds Patxi payed to the town's church, before turning into a hermit, was the forging of the bell, a fact that appears to be unimportant until the end.
    • The government official searching for the gold doesn't go to church, a fact the local priest decries as a sign of government abandonment of religious and social values. Turns out that it's because he's the demon Alastor in disguise, and going to a church mass would break his glamour.
  • Companion Cube: Usue's doll macguffins the whole plot.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Patxi, who has fortified his home against devil attacks. Pity it's also deadly to humans.
  • Deal with the Devil: Specifically, Patxi with Sartael (safe passage home), two of the peasants with Bourgeois!Alastor (the Carlist gold), and Usue with Demon!Alastor (to see her mother).
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Alastor, Sartael's supervisor, and the big demon guarding the gates of Hell.
  • Determinator: Patxi, as described by the opening and closing narration.
    Narrator/Sartael: This story, like many others, begins with a man of flesh and blood. A man who outwitted his pact with Hell. A man so ruthless, so determined, that even the Devil himself would come to fear and respect him. A blacksmith.
  • Devil in Disguise: The bourgeois from the capital is actually a demon of upper level, trying to drag Patxi to hell since Sartael has been doing a poor job. The gold-finding quest it's just a way to tempt the peasantry into helping him. Sartael himself disguises into a kid to convince Usue of freeing him, and then into a young man after he returns from Hell.
  • The Dreaded: Even the lesser demons are terrified of Alastor - and by the end of the movie, it's implied they come to fear Patxi.
  • Fearless Infant: Usue's really brave.
  • Guile Hero: Patxi's lived for 8 years under a demonic pact because he knows the weaknesses of demons and is fully willing to exploit them.
  • Hellgate: In fact, that's all we got to see from Hell on the climax of the film.
  • Hell Seeker: Usue thinks that her mother is trapped there, so she's committed to meet her this way. Patxi becomes this too after growing fond of Usue and pissed with the whole infernal business. In fact, since he had the Carlist's gold turned into a bell capable of deafening bigger demons, it's arguable that maybe he plotted going to Hell from the beginning. That said, he has no intention of staying there.
  • Humiliation Conga: Sartael gets repeatedly beaten and bullied throughout the film, most notably right after he tries to escape. At first he gets caught in one of the Patxi's beartraps, he is then dragged back to the cage and as a cherry on top Usue and Patxi joyfully torture him with a blessed bell and chickpeas. Of course Usue apologizes to Sartael, but this might be even more humiliating for the poor bastard. In his second escape, he steps into another bear trap, destroying his mystique with the villages and prompting them to rush in and beat him with Torches and Pitchforks.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Demons have lots of weaknesses and Patxi knows how to exploit them.
  • Literal Genie: Sartael - he made the deal with Patxi so he could return home safely after deserting to be with his wife, but he didn't promise his wife hadn't taken up with another man.
  • Madman in the Attic: Sartael initially appears as a kid trapped in a cage by Patxi.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Sartael. Alastor takes the time to chew him out for his incompetence in tempting souls.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Patxi is a borderline example. Most of the things the villagers say about him are true, but he's not the complete monster they imagine him as.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the climax, Alastor has just killed Usue and sent her soul to Hell as Sartael takes advantage to escape, threatening the peasants around him before moving towards the gate - only to step into another bear trap, and the peasants start beating him with Torches and Pitchforks.
  • Noble Demon: Sartael turns out to be this. Patxi successfully persuades him to rescue Usue from Hell as gratitude for freeing him from the cage. At the end, he tells the peasants that Hell refused her entry because she is a Saint and that they should treat her as such.
  • No-Sell: Subverted. Patxi throws a jar at Alastor, who is amused when it falls but doesn't break. Then Usue picks it up, throws it again, and the chickpeas all spill out, forcing him to count them while she runs away with Sartael.
  • Not Afraid of Hell: The film ends with Patxi going to Hell to save Usue from her Deal with the Devil, striking down a demon after weakening him with the sound of a blessed bell, then marching through the Hellgate to rescue his late wife's soul from the clutches of demons.
  • Papa Wolf: Patxi becomes one to Usue. She's the daughter of his late wife, though he actually killed her real father.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Played for Drama, as Patxi flew into a jealous rage upon returning home and finding his wife had borne another man's child - she had been told that Patxi was dead, but he wouldn't listen.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: People can go to hell one of two ways, making a deal with a devil, but also, the sheer belief someone is a rotten person is enough. Sartael claims, and we later see, that the line of the damned walking into hell is made up of guilt-ridden people— so much so, that when the door to hell starts closing, they rush forward instead of trying to avoid it.
    • Ironically, it's hinted that Patxi is immune to this because he genuinely doesn't blame himself for his wife's death - he blames Sartael instead.
  • Shapeshifter: Sartael and his mentor Alastor, this may be a power of all devils, or at least ones that visit the surface and tempt mortals.
  • Sinister Minister: Downplayed but present, as the village priest is decidedly strict with Usue for fear of whether she'll go to Hell like her mother, and immediately gets delusions of grandeur upon seeing Sartael, as bringing a living Demon to the Vatican would probably get him the Papacy.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: At the climax, Usue herself makes a deal with Alastor to be taken to Hell to reunite with her mother. This after the entire movie shows her being ostracized and bullied by everyone in the village, including the priest who had, moments before, berated and slapped her for releasing Sartael from imprisonment in exchange for helping Patxi.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Comes into play at the climax, as the village believes that Patxi abducted Usue.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The closing narration is provided by Sartael, who even adds "And remember - whether you believe what I told you or not, you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story."
  • Weaponized Weakness: Blessed items, such as bells, hurt demons to hear rung, even a tiny hand-held one. And wouldn't you know it, the town's church bell is made of gold and also blessed.