Cuba, 73 min, Spanish with English subtitles
VÍDEO DE FAMILIA (Family Video)
Think of a cross between All in the Family and ¿Qué Pasa, USA? set in Cuba after the demise of the Soviet bloc and you begin to get a drift of director Humberto Padrón’s delightful and structurally bold maiden mid-length feature. In Havana, a family records a homemade video greeting card to the son who left for Miami never to return. Startling revelations ensue.
In person: Director Humberto Padrón.
A farmer continues to toil the land expropriated by the revolution. Late in life, he has nothing to speak of, except for a $50,000 debt to the government. Director Eliecer Jimenez Almeida trains his lens on his challenged yet unwavering father.
In person: Director Eliecer Jimenez Almeida.
LOS BAÑISTAS (The Swimmers)
Last year, director Carlos Lechuga was in the news with his censored feature Santa y Andrés. Some years earlier he made the short gem Los bañistas (The Swimmers) about a swimming instructor in search of a working pool to train his students for a competition. The teacher’s travails are bracketed by sequences that recall Paul McCartney: When you find yourself in times of trouble ... “listen to the music playing in your head.”
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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