Learn more about the country at the Cuban film festival

So, you thought Cuba was all about cigars and Fidel Castro. There’s more to it, such as poignant films.

Get to know Cuba up-close as the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba and Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation organise a Cuban film festival, in view of the Culture National Day of Cuba.

It will be held from October 12 to 15 at South Indian Film Chamber Theatre, 606, Anna Salai.

At 6.30 p.m. on October 12, watch “Pages from Mauricio’s Diary”, directed by Manuel Pérez. The film tracks the man of the title and the nation from 1988, just before the fall of the U.S.S.R. and the resulting hardships of Cuba’s ‘special period’, and when the U.S. beats Cuba in a highly-charged baseball match, through 2000, when Mauricio turns 60 and Cuba’s women’s volleyball team trounces the Russians. During the game, Mauricio and the stepdaughter who had despised him forge a bond, the common denominator being their respective decisions to remain in Cuba despite the drawbacks. His daughter had fled to Sweden, her father to the States.

Strange attraction

The next day same time, catch “Madrigal”, directed by Fernando Pérez. Good-looking but insecure Javier is a wannabe writer and actor in a theatre group, in which Eva and Angel also perform. One night, they are playing to a single audience member, the overweight teen Luisita, who stands up mid-act and leaves, a move which fascinates Javier. He tracks the God-fearing, morgue-working romantic Luisita down to her apartment, where the two of them indulge in the first of several leisurely conversations. Javier reports back to Eva, who half-jokingly suggests that he should seduce and then poison Luisita, so they can have her apartment: the grim reality of contemporary Cuban life is never confronted head on, but as here is referred to obliquely throughout.

“Kangamba”, directed by Rogelio Paris will be screened on October 14 at 6.30 p.m. With musical background by Edesio Alejandro, this film recreates with great humanism, the most momentous and difficult moments of the Cuban troops in Angola, and highlights the value and the resistance in a moment when they were totally isolated.

On the last day, “City in Red”, directed by Rebeca Chavez will be screened at 6.15 p.m. The movie shows a day in the life of Santiago de Cuba during the final days of the Batista dictatorship. Two of the film’s characters employ different modes of fighting for the same end: to stop the State terror in Cuba then.

At 7.45 p.m. catch “Dancing, Cha, Cha, Cha”, directed by Manuel Herrera. The conflicts within a typical Cuban family serve as the dramatic center piece for this musical drama set in the 1950s and placed in the context of the birth of the Cha Cha Cha.

From simple misunderstandings to accepting our differences and respecting our individuality, the family contends with a variety of universal issues while struggling through the hard times and taking comfort in each other’s company.

For more information on the film festival, call 98401-51956.


Culture & HeritageMay 14, 2012