The friendship between a boxer and a former soldier, within the context of the “Los Cocos” sanitarium, an institution where they kept every case of HIV and seropositives in confinement, in Cuba in the ‘80s is the setting for of film “El Acompañante” (The Companion).
Irina Pino’s Diary
On September 15th, I heard about Cuban poet Juan Carlos Flores’ suicide. He’d suffered from schizophrenia and in the last period of his life, he’d decided to be by himself, his wife had gone out of the country.
We have lost an actor of a thousand characters, Jose Antonio Rodriguez passed away on September 7th. Government media report that he had been suffering from a degenerative disease.
When a friend talks to me about broken families, I see the portrait of my own family: those who have stayed here in Cuba, those who have left, and those who are getting ready to say goodbye.
The wretched state of the Rex Cinema, on San Rafael Boulevard in downtown Havana, doesn’t stop me from seeing it and what it once was, with super comfortable seats and excellent air conditioning.
It seems that adversity stood in your way and wanted to erase your name, dark horsemen didn’t want you to continue on living, they tried to silence you…
In the holidays, the kids in my neighborhood enjoy going to the coast, bathing in the sea. They also play bul-le, that’s the slang name for it, but it’s just a game of cards which up to six players can play.
I can still remember the place on 11 and 24th Streets, right next to the Iron Bridge, which now serves as a “transitional housing unit” for families who, for one reason or another, have ended up without their own homes.
Everyday, we find out about the irregularities that state-run establishments make on the TV news. The media for the masses tells us to some extent what’s going on, but it’s us Cubans who have to pay the consequences.
Having casual relationships is something you do when you’re growing up, without fear of getting STDs. When I was young, I was promiscuous, like a lot of my friends. We had sex on stairways, in parks, on rooftops, in rooms they used to lend us…