Cuba, 85 min, Spanish with English subtitles
Post-Soviet Cuba has become a tourist trap with dollar-hungry Che Guevara lookalikes posing on streetcorners and sex-starved foreigners trolling for fun under the sun. Filmed as the U.S. embargo was about to be lifted, veteran director Enrique Colina’s latest documentary finds Old Glory resurfacing everywhere, from dilapidated balconies to booty shorts. The island puts on its Sunday best and readies itself to dance with the enemy for the first time in decades.
JUAN PABLO DARANAS MOLINA: LA PRÓXIMA GENERACIÓN (The Next Generation)
Juan Pablo, the twentysomething son of director Ernesto Daranas (Conducta) carves a niche of his own with Yunaisy. The tale of a young filmmaker whose future is in jeopardy if he refuses to submit to censorship is based on the director’s own experience. In Cuba, access to the Internet is curtailed. In Cuatro puertas (Four Doors) “if you try, sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.”
JUAN CARLOS CREMATA MALBERTI: CINE MÍNIMO (Minimum Cinema)
Necessity is the mother of invention and Cremata Malberti reaches new heights of hilarity with a pair of micro shorts made for ... cellphones! The much-revered ballet, Giselle, is recast as an interior monologue on the nature of diva-ism. Earning a living in exile can be fraught with peril. The director receives A Professional Training in superintendency with a guided tour of the generator room and its emergency machine. Heaven help the tenants of this building. In Cuban vernacular, untranslatable in English.In person: Director Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti.
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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