Darius Kaufmann, Eytan Jan

Sog./Scen.: Eytan Jan, Darius Kaufmann. F.: Nina Bernfeld. M.: Franck Nakache. Mus.: René Baños. Int.: Mirta Ibarra, Enrique Pineda Barnet, Adela Legrá, Jerónimo Labrada, Eduardo Manet. Prod.: Antoine Goldet per Amok Films. DCP. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

While clearing out my grandparents’ apartment in 2013, I came across a set of Cuban film posters dating back to the 1960s. At that time, my grandparents were young French socialists who wanted to contribute to the construction of a revolutionary society in Cuba, and my grandfather started collecting Cuban film posters. That is when I met Eytan a filmmaker like myself, with whom I shared my newfound discovery. For him too, knowledge of Cuba had often been limited to the stereotyped symbols of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, the Missile Crisis, the Cold War… and not much more. The same enthusiasm, the same questions inhabited us: the solitary ‘I’ became a collective ‘We’. The eclecticism of the posters only reinforced our surprise and wonder.
In Cuba, the most famous contemporary actress, Mirta Ibarra, who starred in Strawberry and Chocolate (1993), opened the doors of Cuban cinema to us, that is how we met the pioneers of Cuban revolutionary cinema. It is with these personalities that we plan to build our chronicle of Cuban revolutionary cinema, torn between respect for official guidelines and its commitment to freedom of expression and creation. At the same time though, we intend to embark upon a Humble History of cinema in Cuba – the one that brings together, in one great dance, the memories of yesterday and the filming of today. It’s this contagious energy, this desire to make films at all costs, that we so desperately want to put into images.
In the Havana of the 1960s, there were 140 movie theaters. Only a dozen remain today. For ten years, the cinema industry was a pillar of the Cuban Revolution, but the hardening of the regime precipitated its decline. This film explores revolutionary Cuban cinema through the memories of its pioneers, such as director Enrique Pineda Barnet, actresses Adela Legrá and Mirta Ibarra; and through the eyes of a new generation of Cuban filmmakers, torn between their love for their country and a longing for artistic freedom. An ode to popular cinema and its capacity to create collective consciousness.

Darius Kaufmann


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