Cuba, 114 min, Spanish with English subtitles
FRUTAS EN EL CAFÉ (Fruits in the Coffee)
The title pertains to a painting that acts as a Hitchcockian McGuffin, the pretext that sets the real story in motion, in this case, a circular tale of sexual corruption. Aptly, the painting is never actually seen, but as it changes hands, the lives of a prostitute, a devout communist and a blocked artist are irrevocably altered. In what many consider the first Cuban independent feature film, director Humberto Padrón (Video de familia) once again shows that an innovative structure need not detract from a popular entertainment. As co-written by Padrón with Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead), Frutas en el café recalls Julio Cortázar as it invites the viewer to assemble a very cunning movie that ends exactly where it begins.
In person: Director Humberto Padrón and actor Mario Guerra.
AFUERA (THE OTHER SIDE)
In Vanessa Portieles and Yanelvis González’s film, a construction worker is haunted by the past even after he is paroled from prison. His wife and stepdaughter dream of leaving the island. The short-lived, spontaneous revolt known as El Maleconazo is a detonator. But for the former inmate, freedom will always be conditional.
In person: Actor Mario Guerra.
They come in all shapes and sizes. They are fearless and fly under the radar. They address a reality that’s either glossed over or spoken of in hushed tones. Armed with little more than their immense talent - and an overriding sense of humor - Cuban independent filmmakers have been carving out a significant niche for themselves. CGAC is delighted to pay tribute to these largely unsung movie heroes with a 9-program, 25-film salute.
Forbidden Fruit: Cuban Independent Film in the 21st Century was programmed in collaboration with Alejandro Ríos, and with the enthusiastic participation of all filmmakers involved - in and out of Cuba. Poster artist: Andrés Ungaro, courtesy of Blanco-Lorenz. Technical support: Magna-Tech Electronic. Special thanks to Rosa Marquetti, SGAE Havana and Dean Luis Reyes, whose series, Cuban Cinema under Censorship, at MoMA in New York City, was the inspiration for this program.
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