Repression, Poverty and Other Cuban Truths Arrive at the DVD Market /
Luis Felipe Rojas #Cuba
Luis Felipe Rojas, Translator: Unstated
In just thirteen minutes of history human rights activists told how they
were attacked by political police officers and men in plain clothes. The
reason? Castro graffiti on the streets, and posters hanging from roofs.
Without meaning to justify themselves, young dissidents explain how they
have been surprised that when these signs appear they are held
responsible for them and that they come from the increasingly
discontented population of the whole country.
The independent visual experimentation group, Palenque Vision, of the
Eastern Democratic Alliance, has released from the tangled Guantanamera
geography a documentary produced by themselves and directed by Rolando
Rodriguez Lobaina. The material, entitled "For Cuba, Freedom", is
supported by a simple narrative, without makeup, profusion of visual
effects or complicated editing.
This same group recently produced an amusing video shot with a hidden
camera showing delegates to an assembly prior to municipal elections of
the People's Power in Baracoa, Guantanamo, last September, where the
revolutionary leaders fall into a deep sleep to the rhythm of harangues.
Right now the Cuban documentary is found in small viewings in
intellectual circles, the few spaces for exhibitions and festivals, and
the rich environment of everyday life underground. Alternative
distribution routes are growing — from citizen to citizen — enriching
the immediate reality.
The proliferation of flash memory, the use and popularization of
something as useful as the home DVD player, and the release by the Cuban
government of patents for reproducing and selling audiovisual products
on the part of the self-employed, have enlarged Cuban viewers'
opportunities over the last five years.
The American television series that propaganda apparatus on the island
do not allow to be releases, materials from Cuban athletes living
abroad, telenovelas, historical films, action adventure (all produced by
capitalists), go from house to house, in cutting edge technological
devices or the almost obsolete CDs.
Amid this avalanche also coming into homes are materials showing Cuban
government repression or closeups denouncing the misery in which the
country finds itself.
The documentaries of Vision Palenque join the materials coming out of
film schools and independent experimental groups, which have produced
debates as such as Citizens' Reasons and State of Sats (Estado de Sats)
and reports such as those from Let's Talk Press (Hablemos Press) and
other independent news agencies .
This is a good sign for the health of the Cuban documentary.