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).
Movies & Books
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.
Next month, from December 3 to 13, the public will once again stampede to the country’s movie theaters. The 37th Havana Film Festival will be an opportunity to get one’s bearings with respect to the most recent in film production in Latin America and cast a glance at film productions from other parts of the globe.
More than a week after the news about Cuban actress Yordanka Ariosa’s Best Actress Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival were published, one cannot help but notice that, while a number of newspapers around the world divulged the story, Cuba’s official press completely ignored it. Why?
Yordanka Ariosa of Cuba won the San Sebastian Film Festival award for Best Actress on Saturday for her role as a prostitute in “The King of Havana”, adapted by director Agusti Villaronga from the novel with the same name by Pedro Juan Guitiérrez.
In different ways, Pedro Juan Gutierrez offers us a self-portrait in each of his books. On this occasion, he intentionally announces it with the title of Fabian y el caos (“Fabian and Chaos”), his most recent novel, just launched in Spain. Published by Anagrama, the novel scrutinizes a past more distant than the one tackled in the author’s Dirty Havana Trilogy.
Bangkukuk is a cozy, paradisiacal place for its inhabitants, who have inherited the joy of an authentic life from earlier generations. It may sound utopian, but, if you pay attention to the details highlighted by the documentary, you will come across things that will make you doubt your perception of happiness and development.
On July 13, the Discovery Channel premiered the first US television series filmed entirely on location in Cuba: Cuban Chrome. The show centers on A lo cubano (“Cuban Style”), a group of mechanics who refurbish vintage American cars, popularly known as “almendrones” in Cuba. The series is to be part of a brief Cuban immersion by the channel, which, to date, has produced two additional programs: one about sharks and a more recent one about Fidel Castro.
The documentary “A Wedding in Havana” was made during the height of the mid-1990s Special Period economic crisis, a crisis that for many Cubans never fully ended to this day. It gives us some insight into a period in time that people prefer not to talk much about from the disillusionment and pain it represented.
US university professor Sara Cooper is the founder of a veritable publisher’s dream: Cubanabooks. The publishing house has already begun to secure prestige in both Cuba and the United States thanks to the tenacity of woman who defends literature written by women and Queer Studies. She is currently working at the California State University, devoting much of her time to publish the work of Cuban women living in the United States.