Written by 12:24 pm Art

The documentary people, between Washington and Havana

4 years ago, the news of the Artes de Cuba Festival on the Kennedy Cultural Center in Washington turned out to be quite an event, not only artistically, but in addition politically, since this cultural exchange between Cuban and American artists seemed unimaginable attributable to the complex political situation between the 2 countries through the Trump administration.

Irrespective of what, it’s complex to administer to separate politics from artistic work, but an event of great magnitude and relevance within the history of Cuba and america managed to happen, although setbacks weren’t lacking within the midst of this scenario.

Aside from the Cuban delegation, a gaggle of independent filmmakers in control of making an audiovisual material concerning the event, got the news of the denial of permission to film contained in the place. It was time to reinvent or go home.

For a Cuban independent filmmaker, mishaps of this sort should not strange. Coping with refusals to film, the delay or absence of permits, in addition to economic and resource limitations, are common tasks for many who determine to make movies in Cuba without the protection of state institutions.

Bridges from in every single place

Nevertheless, the outlook for Inti Herrera and Reymel Delgado, director and producer of the audiovisual, respectively, was worse as they found themselves out of the country and with financial resources running out by the day, a situation that Herrera describes as “a white moment. It’s considered one of those moments where you may have neither present nor past. Neither solution nor future.”

“So,” he adds, “it has to do with the spirit with which you approach the creative act. Normally you’re using intuition. Nothing concrete or very easy to intellectualize yet. You recognize that you just are searching for something and that there’s a potential in that moment of reality that you just grasp. Suddenly you don’t have access to that raw material to make your film. In our case also the financial fear. Initially we had no support, beyond the associations between ourselves and small amounts of cash that meagerly helped support us when out of our homes, in a spot that lots of us visited for the primary time.

“That feeling that there isn’t a alternative lets you be versatile, search for options and reconfigure hardships in pursuit of an end. Sometimes the team didn’t understand it, but we didn’t have the budget to sustain us the next week. I believe there may be an attitude of coming from below, of coming up, which contributes to a certain epic in Cuban independent cinema. Sometimes even decadent, but epic in any case.”

That’s once they understand that beyond what happened within the place, a very powerful thing was close at hand: the artists, the individuals who made possible every little thing that might not be documented in images, all that human potential that led them to that time, people from here and there united carrying forward a dream.

Making a fresh start

Then they’d (one other) documentary. Through the guests they seek to delve into the complex history of Cuba-United States relations, and the way, based on willpower and despite all obstacles, “art builds bridges between peoples, and reminds us that the forces that unite are deeper than people who divide,” recalls the dossier of La gente del documental, name of the film.

The duty of understanding the link between art and politics is complicated. “The artist can’t be so naive as to not understand, to not have a political intuition, how good politics all the time carries a creative halo. Nothing inherent to the human being will be alien to us. And at the identical time, there isn’t a artistic construction aspiring on to a political result. Socialist realism gave good examples of this,” the director explains to OnCuba.

 And he specifies: “These two concepts go hand in hand inevitably, but they’ve very different stages of gestation. Our film deals with this in a parallel way, although indirectly aiming for a political result.”

Along with the artists, historians, politicians and cultural agents of each countries offer a panorama of what was experienced at the moment, within the midst of Donald Trump’s presidential term, a needed context to lift awareness concerning the dimension of what happened in those days.

The names of Arturo O’Farril, Aymée Nuviola, Yissy García, Aldo López-Gavilán, José Parlá and Manuel Mendive are a few of those we are going to have the ability to see on this film, along with the testimonies of other personalities reminiscent of Emilio Cueto, art collector and Cuban researcher; Carlos Gutiérrez, secretary of commerce of america between 2005 and 2009; and Emily Mendrala, former executive director of the Center for Democracy within the Americas, currently Deputy Assistant Secretary within the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, United States Department of State.

The film, in co-production between i4films, FacFilms, Wajiros Movies and La Rueda Movies, will premiere on the Charles Chaplin cinema on May 5 at 6:00 p.m., and shall be an example to internalize how difficult it’s to make independent cinema in Cuba, although Inti stays somewhat reserved about it:

“It is vitally difficult to theorize about how a piece shall be viewed in the longer term. I prefer to see the degree of communication that a movie achieves with its audience. If it connects, in case your concerns and the aesthetic proposals that you may have been capable of bring to the theater, or to any screen, make sense to others,” are among the questions that shall be answered after its transient stint in movie theaters, because for now It can only be on the billboard in Room 1 of the Multicine Infanta, from May 6 to eight, at 5:00 p.m.


This documentary was also considered one of the winning materials in the primary edition of the Fund for the Promotion of Cuban Cinema, and considered one of the primary to be released in movie thaters within the country, one other point in favor of the needed dialogue that ought to be fostered between independent filmmakers and the Cuban Institute of Cinema Art and Film (ICAIC).

“I believe that Cuban independent cinema can have to be written about. Perhaps in a time of less tension, where the political is just not the initial aspiration but moderately based on the sociology of art, on aesthetics and above all based on the anecdotal because I imagine, based on my experiences, that it could actually be an excellent book, all of the incidents that a Cuban filmmaker goes through to make his film. But it surely’s time to place distance in between. Briefly, having earned their bread, the Greeks began to rethink themselves. First things first,” Herrera tells us.

“I would really like the message to persuade, not since it is the one alternative, but since it is a component of the trail of virtue, of what’s human. It is vitally needed for our country that we will see a horizon where people determine to bet on it. Beyond if physically one lives here or there. There have to be a typical language, a basic understanding that helps us move forward. The vital thing is, to paraphrase considered one of the interviewees: ‘put yourself in the opposite’s shoes,’ the remainder could be very easy.”

Yoel Rodriguez Tejeda

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