Cuba, 79 min, Spanish with English subtitles
Three different glimpses of women under duress, far from the rallying cry of the #MeToo movement and its various iterations. In Diana Montero’s Abecé (ABCs), a young peasant discovers the wages of fighting her parents and following her heart when she marries young and gives birth to her child. With images terrible in their beauty and candor, Mater dei director Eliecer Jimenez Almeida crafts a portrait of his mother as she grieves for her other son, lost at sea after leaving the island. The dreams of women from the former Soviet bloc who left home to follow their Cuban spouses were dashed when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. Todas iban a ser reinas (They Would All Be Queens), from the husband-and-wife tandem of Gustavo Perez Fernandez and Oneyda González Gonzalez, finds the former blushing brides stranded and clinging to a promise unfulfilled.
In person: Directors Diana Montero, Eliecer Jimenez Almeida, Gustavo Pérez Fernández and Oneyda González González
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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