Lucio Urtopia, a Navarre from Cascante, born into a humble family of five brothers, soon discovered the benefits smuggling could bring when, in the middle of his military service, he ransacked a store in the company to which he was assigned. He was discovered, deserted, and fled to France in 1954 to settle in Paris where he learned what his lifelong trade was, a construction worker. There he made contact with the Juventudes Libertarias and with which he ended up on the occasion of his life, the anti-Franco militant Quico Sabaté, in whose company he entered the world of thefts, and then, when his friend was arrested, he began to specialize in forgery.
This man, whom some call “anarchist Robin Hood”, formed the inspiration for the movie, Action Man, directed by Javier Ruiz Caldera (Malnazidos, Superlópez) and with a screenplay by Patxi Amezcua, also from Navarra (Without Borders, Operation Black Tide). , which, with fantasy elements, will premiere on Netflix November 30th.
“It’s the story of David against Goliath or how a flea can beat an elephant,” says the director. The film tells how this Navarre construction worker, according to the official synopsis, “carried out a legendary forgery in Paris that put him in the crosshairs of the largest bank in the United States, when he managed to obtain an enormous amount of money by forging traveler’s checks to invest in the causes in which Believe in it.” It was his biggest coup, in the late 1970s, when he cheated out of more than $20 million. “We tend to think that one can’t do anything against something so huge, but this has actually happened and shows that sometimes, yes, the unimaginable can be achieved,” says Ruiz Caldera.
Neither Urtopia, who died in July 2020 at the age of 89, nor his relatives participated in the project even though they knew of its existence and expressed their approval. Pachi Amizcua came to meet him.
Noting the irony that a giant like Netflix launched the film, the film’s director, Ruiz Caldera, notes that he “never stopped lecturing and would have liked to know that his life and work would be published.” In 190 countries, it would have been amused. .”
He adds that Ortopia “puts man above everything and freedom as an essential element, although sometimes it contradicts his cause, as if when he got married in the church, they reproached him for that, and he replied: An anarchist, he does what he wants.” “He was never violent. He used to say that the crime of robbing a bank was nothing compared to starting a bank… He shared everything with whoever needed it, and in his head he did it for the greater good.”
In A Man of Action, Lucio Urtubia plays Juan José Ballesta (Hispania, The Legend), who shares the spotlight with Miki Esparbé (Smiley) as Quico Sabaté or Luis Callejo (The Longest Night, Blackout) as his great friend Antonio. His character has already been the subject of the documentary Lucio, directed by Aitor Arregi and Jose Mari Goenaga (Lorique, Handia).
“Professional problem solver. Subtly charming bacon buff. Gamer. Avid alcohol nerd. Music trailblazer.”