Cuba, 108 min, Spanish with English subtitles
A successful screenwriter for directors Daniel Díaz Torres and Fernando Pérez, Eduardo Del Llano finds his own voice and ideal format as a director of satirical short subjects, most of them featuring Nicanor O’Donnell, a fictional Cuban everyman played to the hilt by Luis Alberto García. In his finest film to the date, Épica, our antihero is a time traveler who visits the early sixties and shows a committed author what his treasured revolution has become. Dominó, his most recent, finds Nicanor playing Cuba’s favorite table game in a Havana courtyard, discussing rumors that a wealthy foreigner is looking to buy the island. The line between fiction and reality is blurred in Casting as a succession of actors are auditioned for a lighthearted comedy financed by foreign capital. In the midst of a wake, a government snitch waiting word of an impending raid startles mourners when he finds cellphone coverage atop the dead man’s casket in No somos nada (We’re Nothing).
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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