Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Again, Alberto / Luis Felipe Rojas

Again, Alberto / Luis Felipe Rojas
Luis Felipe Rojas, Translator: Raul G.

Now is when I was able to publish this post which should have been
uploaded along with the documentary but I am sure all of you "out there"
will understand why it took long to do so.

A year ago I wrote about Alberto Lairo Castro, a young Holguin native
who in 2007 was a victim of a "Double Nelson" lock applied onto him by
the National Revolutionary Police in order to immobilize him. This lock
is often used by the Police forces to suppress the population.

Alberto was left disabled. His prolonged hospitalization caused him
various sores on his back, while his torturers were freed of charges
twice. Caridad Caballero and Fidel Garcia Roldan took me to him, showed
me a recording made with a photo camera, and I then started spreading
the story.

One year later I decided to make a short documentary without any other
pretensions but to play with real time in a way that my new audiovisual
experiment would showcase the story with the actual filthiness of the
atmosphere and compress the actual feelings behind those chipped walls
of that tiny apartment where Lairo Castro resides.

I recorded it with a Sony-Everio camera which was given to me by Malena,
a charitable soul who believes in the maxim of Theresa of Calcutta: "One
must give until it hurts".

The less trained spectator may feel that the sound quality is mediocre,
but surely they will establish a connection with Alberto. The noise
which can be heard in the background of "Why do you Beat Me?"is the same
noise which annoys this young paralytic all day and night. He lives just
two meters from one of the most central streets of Holguin — Pepe
Torres, between Marti and Frexes.

Lastly, I traveled 800 kms between San German and Havana in order to
upload this documentary onto the internet. In Santiago de Cuba it was
impossible for me and I spent a fortune on Internet cards in the
cybercafe. In the end, I was not able to complete this in either of the
two cities. The connection was horrible, so I turned to my friend
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, and I am infinitely grateful for his
collaboration. OLPL was not able to put it up on my YouTube account, so
he put it up on his own and I immediately received a wave of
congratulations and gratitude. Two Holguin natives who now live
somewhere in the South of France sent me the link and told me they are
willing to spread it around their friends. That is one of the best ways
to help.

I would have never imagined that one of my documentaries would be viewed
by hundreds of people after I was banned from the media in my own
country. Now, thanks to the free and wide country that is the internet,
through Alberto Lairo Castro I can ask "Why do you Beat Me?"

May 17 2011

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