“Once Upon a Time in Biran,” part four of the web documentary “Rafael” from an extensive interview conducted with Cuban poet Rafael Alcides on numerous topics. Director: Miguel Coyula (2016).
Movies & Books
One of the most merciless indictments against totalitarian societies and the lack of freedoms under socialist systems, the novel 1984 by George Orwell, will be published shortly in Cuba by a government publisher.
The interview you’re about to read seeks answers to developments in today’s Cuba in the figure of Jose Marti (1853-1895). Where did I find the answers to these questions? In Ramiro Valdes Galarraga’s Diccionario del Pensamiento Martiano (“Jose Marti’s Thought: A Glossary”), published by Cuba’s Ciencias Sociales in 2013, the 160th anniversary of Marti’s birth.
Introducing the first three episodes of the mini web series “Rafael Alcides” from a 4-hour interview with Cuban poet and writer Rafael Alcides on various topics. Director: Miguel Coyula (2015). Subtitles in English
The following text silently fades in over black: “Cuba is a socialist Latin American island nation where the State controls most of the means of production to guarantee the wellbeing of its citizens.” Thus begins Marcelo Martin’s documentary, El tren de la linea norte (“The North Line Train”). The film documents a journey that begins at the station in Moron and ends at Punta Alegre in the central Cuban province of Ciego de Avila.
Over thirty years ago, the German director Werner Herzog filmed his most important movie, “Fitzcarraldo”, which earned him the 1982 Cannes Festival award for best director. The film tells the story of Brian Fitzgerald (Fitzcarraldo), an eccentric man so obsessed with the opera that he decides to build a theater in the Amazon jungle. Apparently one lone conquest of the useless wasn’t enough to confirm the uselessness of the entire process.
Few realized when the group of U.S. film producers, screen writers and directors slipped in. They didn’t make a triumphant entrance. They simply entered a private hall and gradually mixed with the crowd waiting to meet one of the producers of the world’s most-watched TV series — Game of Thrones.
The Havana Film Festival draws many filmmakers from the region. Most consider it an honor to have their work screened in Havana for the 10 days of the festival. To take part in the festival, be it by offering lectures, attending workshops or simply as special guests becomes the aim of many.
Cuba libre, Cuban filmmaker Jorge Luis Sanchez’ third feature, had to wait many years to reach the big screen and swell the list of domestic films to compete at the 2015 Havana Film Festival (Dec. 3-13).
One of the most common obsessions that assails those of us who leave Cuba is the question as to whether we were happy back when we lived on the island. Many believe they weren’t, that happiness in revolutionary Cuba is, quite simply, something beyond our reach.