Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spaniards in the World / Yoani Sánchez

Spaniards in the World / Yoani Sánchez
Translator: Unstated, Yoani Sánchez

The capitol, rum, salsa music played on street corners, cars that look
like collector's pieces although under the hood they are falling to
pieces. This and more in the chapter, "Spaniards in the World," filmed
here in Havana. Fifty minutes with stories of immigrants from Asturias,
Galicia, Andalusia, which have transported their dreams from the other
side of the Atlantic. Everything is nice and blue, sprinkled with salt;
but something doesn't fit.

While I watch the serial I have the impression that what they're showing
me is another country, a distant dimension in sepia tints. The life
stories of the seven main characters happen, for me, in a space far from
the daily life I know. And though I repeat — to calm myself down — that
the serial is about Spaniards spread across the globe and not about
Cubans lost in their own geography, as the credits run I can't escape
the feeling of having been conned.

The writers cleverly hide the detail that those interviewed possess
prerogatives unattainable for natives. They fail to say that spending a
night at the Bodeguita del Medio, or at the Tropicana cabaret, renting
an office in the Bacardi building, managing cosmetic or tobacco
companies, dining on lobster and wine, are privileges accessible —
almost exclusively — to the wallets of foreigners. Not to mention the
beautiful sail on the yacht in one of the final scenes, prohibited by
law to the nation's 11 million people. It lacks, this modern and
diverting program, the explanation of the imbalance, the story about the
gap that separates the world of these Spanish who come here from the
world of the Cubans who were born here.

The video Españoles en el mundo – La Habana

23 April 2011

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