Filmmaker Clint Eastwood to Premiere Film on Terrorism

Los Angeles, Nov 24 (Prensa Latina) U.S. actor and director Clint Eastwood's latest film ''The 15:17 to Paris'', a story on thwarted terrorist action, will be premiered, said various websites.

According to the website e.cartelera, the film was shot in the original locations in which the actions took place, seeking to bring characters closer to real life.

The film, to be premiered in February, is about the August 2015 events, when a man fired on a train that was traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.

The perpetrator, Ayoub El Khazzani of Moroccan origin, was killed before committing the killing, so only three people were injured.

Such terrorist action did not become a massacre thanks to the intervention of three young people traveling on the train: student Anthony Sadler, U.S. Army National Guard specialist Alek Skarlatos from Oregon, and a U.S. Air Forces member Spencer Stone.

Eastwood selected these three people that lived the events to perform the characters in his film.

He said that the film is a tribute to ordinary people, particularly these young people that took action to save lives when the extremist got on the train.

  • Published in Culture

Fidel Castro: A Latin American Legend

The Cuban revolutionary remained influential in Latin America and across the world for half a century.

Fidel was born in 1926 during a period when then-President Gerardo Machado was cutting off the traditional elite from its long-held power and defending the island’s sovereignty from the United States.

As a child, Fidel was sent to live in Santiago de Cuba, where he excelled more in sports than academia.

His youth was marked by turbulent politics: Fulgencio Batista became president in 1940 and ruled the country until 1944 before returning to power through a coup in 1952. With the blessing and material support of the United States, he ruled Cuba with an iron fist until 1959 in what even John F. Kennedy once referred to as “one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression.”

While studying law at the University of Havana, Fidel became increasingly involved in anti-imperialist activism. After traveling to the Dominican Republic and Colombia, Fidel sharpened his leftist politics and led protests against right-wing governments in both countries.

Upon returning to Cuba, Fidel used his legal training to oppose the Batista regime while founding an underground revolutionary socialist group called “The Movement.”

Armed Struggle

The Movement staged a failed attack on the Moncada barracks, and many—including Fidel—were arrested.

Prison was a time of learning for Fidel, who devoured authors ranging from Marx, Lenin and Marti to Freud and Shakespeare. It was during this time that Fidel made one of the most famous speeches in history, “History Will Absolve Me,” as part of his own defense in court.

Millions of Cubans hailed the anti-imperialist movement to oust U.S. imposed dictator Fulgencio Batista | Photo: File

Released in 1955, Fidel left Cuba for Mexico, where he met and soon befriended the Argentine Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The Movement ultimately survived and reorganized in Fidel’s newfound country, eventually assuming the name “26th of July Movement” in honor of the Moncada attack.

IN PICTURES: The Victory of Fidel Castro's Revolution

Fidel began his takeover of Cuba the next year, sailing to the island aboard the Granma. The few fighters soon multiplied and despite initial defeats against Batista forces, Fidel’s strategizing and sustained guerrilla attacks eventually resulted in the country being taken over piece by piece.

Despite U.S. attempts to stop him, on Jan. 1, 1959, Fidel officially declared victory in what would be the final nail in the coffin of the Batista regime.

Putting Words Into Action

Fidel transformed the country from one terrorized by torture, killings and dispossession to one radically committed to wealth redistribution, education and universal health care.

Domestically, he built his legacy on agrarian reform, establishing one of the world’s most ambitious literacy campaigns and developing a free, world-class health care system. He went on to nationalize companies, refineries and land and would serve as head of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1965.

Fidel parades through the streets of Havana 56 years ago celebrating the triumph of the Cuban Revolution | Photo: File

In Washington, he is known for opposing U.S. aggression, most prominently the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, and being a major player in the 1962 Missile Crisis that marked the peak of the Cold War with the USSR. He is also believed to have survived at least 638 assassination attempts as well as countless attempts to destabilize the small Caribbean country.

ANALYSIS: 5 Times Fidel Proved He Was a True Internationalist

In Latin America, Fidel built the groundwork for a tight partnership between left-wing governments of the Caribbean and South America. Along with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, he helped found ALBA, a socialist bloc opposed to privatization and liberalization which offers a vision of post-neoliberalism rooted in principles of social welfare and mutual economic aid.

For the Global South, Fidel is a revolutionary icon who has consistently supported principles—and policies—of internationalism. He was a key figure in the Non-Aligned Movement, winning the respect of leaders across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where thousands of Cuban troops, doctors, agricultural specialists and teachers have helped on humanitarian missions.

Fidel’s Dawn

On April 19, 2016, at the final session of the Cuban Communist Party’s 7th Congress, Fidel addressed his audience. “This may be one of the last times that I speak in this room,” he said, “but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain as proof that on this planet, by working with fervor and dignity, we can produce the material and cultural wealth that humans need."

A photograph of Fidel being installed in preparation for his 90th birthday in Havana, Cuba, August 12, 2016 | Photo: Reuters 

It was a rare public appearance for the 90 year old, who still nonetheless penned letters and articles on global issues, influencing strategic decisions in Cuba with his moral weight. His behind-the-scenes diplomacy has also helped establish peace between the FARC and the Colombian government, and now the U.S. and Cuba through the normalization of diplomatic relations.

Suffering from an undisclosed digestive illness in July 2006, Fidel announced the transfer of presidential duties to his brother, Raul, who was vice president at the time.

On Nov. 25, 2016, his brother and fellow revolutionary Raul Castro announced that Fidel had passed at the age of 90.

  • Published in Cuba

Fidel’s Favorite Book and Why You Should Read It

The Cuban revolutionary had an eclectic reading taste. But what was his favorite book?

While Fidel Castro is best recognized as a revolutionary political leader, the former Cuban president had another serious passion — reading.

IN DEPTH: Fidel: A Revolutionary Life

Following the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1952, Fidel was sent to a prison north of Santiago. It was here that the leader of the Cuban Revolution immersed himself in books, avidly reading all genres — from philosophy to history and the great literary masterpieces.

This period proved formative in finessing his political ideology and outlook on the modern Cuban state.

Trapped in a gloomy cell, Fidel found inspiration in the works of Freud, Kant, Shakespeare, Munthe, Maugham and Dostoyevsky. But while the Comandante accredits many authors for expanding his political education, there was another book that deeply moved Fidel — “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” by Ernest Hemingway.

The novel is told through the perspective of Robert Jordan, a young U.S. guerrilla in the Spanish Civil War. Fighting for the Republicans against the fascists, Jordan meets Spanish fighter Maria and together they plan an attack against an enemy transport route.

It is a story of resistance, solidarity and the struggle for justice — themes that resounded with Fidel Castro and would later inspire the Cuban Revolution.

The title is taken from the John Donne poem “No Man Is an Island,” which also speaks to human camaraderie.

In the poem, Donne writes, “any man's death diminishes me, / because I am involved in mankind.”

RELATED: Cuba Bids Farewell to Fidel: Live Updates

These sentiments are echoed throughout “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

In the book, a character asks “For what are we born if not to aid one another?” and later states, “I am thee and thou art me and all of one is the other.”

As well as appealing to Fidel Castro’s humanism, he also saw in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” lessons on how to stage guerrilla warfare.

Speaking in a 1975 interview with U.S. writers Kirby Jones and Frank Mankiewicz, Fidel revealed that “Of U.S. authors, Hemingway is one of my favorites."

“I read ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ when I was a student … Hemingway spoke about the rear-guard of a guerrilla group fighting against a conventional army … The novel was one of the works that helped me devise strategies to fight against Batista’s army.”

As the world prepares to pay their final respects to Fidel Saturday, the words of the Cuban leader’s favorite book appear more pertinent than ever:

“If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.”

  • Published in Culture

World Judo Open Championship: Idalys returns forged in bronze

After more than a year absent from tatamis, Cuban Idalys Ortiz returned to her old ways at the recently held World Judo Open Championship in Marrakech, Morocco, by winning the bronze medal among 18 competitors.

In my opinion, Idalys Ortiz is a judo crack. The outstanding super heavyweight from Artemisa ratified her class and after more than a year absent from tatamis returned to her old ways at the World Judo Open Championship in Marrakech, Morocco, by picking bronze among 18 judokas.

That was not the only joy for Cuba, because with four athletes among representatives from 28 nations, Alex García, of Matanzas, emulated Idalys among the men, after beating his teammate Andy Granda in the bronze medal match.

Nearly 7270 kilometers (4525 miles) separate Marrakech from Havana, but a large number of Cubans were aware of the performance of our main ace on the tatamis.

I mean that Idalys has had an enviable service record since she joined the world elite in the 2007 season, by winning the crown just on January 1st at the World Judo Open Championship in Qingdao, China.

Since then, the exceptional athlete, who says she bases her matches on tactics, with strength, speed and explosiveness little common for her division as added values, has increased her technical repertoire over the years, as well as her showcases.

She has climbed 80 awarding podiums in more than 90 competitions, with 11 Olympic victories and only 2 defeats. She’s worthy of respect and if this weren’t enough, she owns a favorable 73.1 percentage in tournaments officially registered on the specialized website www.judoinside.com derived from 179 wins and 66 losses.

On Moroccan lands, she headed her division with 2 wins. In semifinals, she lost to Japanese Sarah Asahina, (both show a bilateral 1-1 win/loss balance), and then she redeemed herself vs. French Romane Dicko in the bronze medal match.

It’s worth saying that Asahina (4050 points) and Bosnian Larisa Ceric (3284), gold and silver medalists, respectively, are solidly placed on top positions of the world ranking of the +78kg division, scenario in which Idalys, despite her impasse of more than a year, ranks 21st with 1300 points, hence, none of her elite opponents has afforded to forget her.

After being 28 years old last September 27, Idalys retakes her route, carrying the winning star on her shoulders and with her grabbings set from the distance on Tokyo 2020, where she might add another medal to her medal harvest from that 2008 Beijing Games bronze.

As regards their state of mind and amidst a renewal process of our female team, the presence of Idalys, along with the possible comebacks of Dayaris Mestre, Maricet Espinosa and Yanet Bermoy in the future, as well as the inclusion of Kaliema Antomarchi in the 78kg division elite, is substantially important and encouraging.

Almost nobody remembers Alex from the 2010 International Judoguis Golden Championship, when he escorted Oreidis Despaigne in the 100kg division, or his participation in the Youth Olympic Games that same year in Singapore, event where he stayed at the medal threshold with a fifth place.

Today, García (1856 points) ranks 14th in the world ranking of the +100kg division and is one of the main trump cards of our men’s team. He had a stony performance in Marrakech, because after surrendering vs. Japanese Kokoro Kageura (1200 points / #24) in the leadership match of the group, he had beat both Russian Alexander Mikhaylin and his teammate Andy Granda in repechage.

Speed is one of the major resources of Alex García. Maturity in the study of his rivals and security in his actions also complement his explosiveness. He does speed trials on the track (30-40 meters) with Prof. José Ibáñez to increase this last component, which he combines with jumps in circles on one foot. They are very positive for oguchi-ari and contribute to keep both balance in the equilibrium axis and correct combat positions.

He always dedicates time to acrobatics at the end of his training sessions.

By the way, from 2009 to the present day, Alex, fifth on Brazilian soil, exhibits a positive balance of 47 wins and 40 losses at top level competitions.

That’s the reality of our judo super heavyweights. Idalys, who seems she has not been absent over a year and returns to her old ways; and Alex, who is still grabbing a place in the elite. Let’s wait to see what the rest of the Olympic cycle holds in store for them.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Now

Havana Film Festival to Pay Tribute to James Ivory

Havana, Nov 21 (Prensa Latina) The 39th International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema, which will take place in this capital city from December 8th to 17th, will pay tribute to U.S. director James Ivory with eight films from his fruitful career, said organizers today.

Ivory will be paid homage by screening films he shot between the mid-1980s and 2005, including the awarded films 'The remains of the day' and 'Return to Howards End,' said president of the festival Pavel Giroud.

The films to honor Ivory, 89, also include 'Mr. and Mrs. Bridge', 'A Room with a View', 'The White Countess', 'The City of Your Final Destination', 'Jefferson in Paris' and 'Le Divorce'.

The 39th International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema, which is the most important cinema event organized in Cuba, will also pay tribute to the October Revolution on occasion of its centenary, with a restored copy of 'October', a silent film by Russian great filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, premiered in 1928 and considered a classic film.

The 39th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema will be held in 10 movie theaters of Havana, in which more than 400 films from the region and other parts of the world will be screened.

  • Published in Culture

Women and diabetes, an all-time risk

Our right to a healthy future is the theme of today's World Diabetes Day (WDD).

Before numberless risks, women and girls are considered vulnerable. Hence, the importance of dedicating them the World Diabetes Day, which is held every November 14*.

This year it will be held under the theme Women and Diabetes: “Our right to a healthy future” and organizers seek to raise awareness on a metabolic disease that affects millions of people on the planet and around 10% of the Cuban population, although it is hard to specify figures, because many suffer from it asymptomatically.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF English acronym), it is the ninth leading cause of death among women worldwide, with 2.1 million deaths each year.

The source also states that 2 out of 5 women with diabetes are in reproductive age (over 60 million), therefore they have more difficulty conceiving and may find it harder to have a successful pregnancy.

IDF acknowledges that girls and women with that condition, especially in developing nations, face barriers in accessing effective prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care.

In our country, diabetes is associated, above all, with third age people and its early detection has influenced the lowering of death rates.

Cuba grants special attention to this health condition, so it has created Centers for Diabetes Care and Education (CDCE English acronym), spaces that offer multidisciplinary consultations geared at guiding patients on how to coexist with the said disease.

Blindness and lower-limb amputation are two of the most serious consequences.

Hence the transcendence of Heberprot-P, a drug developed at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB Spanish acronym); at present the only alternative to prevent lower-limb amputation in diabetic people with terminal lesions, because it speeds up healing.

Because of its proven effectiveness, it is applied in hundreds of healthcare units across the country and over twenty nations have already registered it.

Today, November 14, diabetes will not be a simple health issue. It’s worth staring at it, because it affects, especially, those who give life on this planet.

*It was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (FID) and the World Health Organization (WHO English acronym) as a response to the alarming rise of diabetic cases globally. The date was chosen to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting, who along with Charles Best, conceived the idea that would lead them to the discovery of insulin in October 1921.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

DANCE PREMIERES: Equilux, by Danza Contemporánea de Cuba

British choreographer Fleur Darkin premieres a piece that seems to “narrate” an evolutive process.

It seems that Scottish choreographer Fleur Darkin has suggested Danza Contemporánea de Cuba to start from the cell, the living and amorphous mass to rite.

In its latest season at Havana’s Mella Theater, the company directed by Miguel Iglesias has premiered “Equilux, the play Darkin has staged in recent months.

It is about the narration of an evolutive process, which begins with the relatively uncoordinated movements of the dance troupe, until a dance line, which ends in group exorcism, shapes up gradually.

The metaphorical vocation is evident, but never obtuse: the spectator can follow the “plot” without problems. There’s a poetics in the dynamics assumed by the dancers, in the spatial design that shows the hand of a skillful choreographer, who knows what she wants.

Once again, the dancers of this Cuban company show their pretty vast spectrum, unique capabilities and abilities to dance altogether. But nobody doubts that at this point and after they’ve danced pieces by very dissimilar choreographers.

Equilux moves toward its climax and abruptly ends. That’s its Achilles’ heel: it seems it fails to fulfill what it promises. Although likely, that has been intentional: it leaves us wishing to continue watching.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Osvaldo Doimeadiós: Pressing Essences

He is one of most natural people I’ve ever known lately, despite carrying on his shoulders, from my perspective as well as others the weight of the condition of performing "star".

Osvaldo Doimeadiós, after almost two and a half hours answering the tireless CubaSí readers he still had interesting ideas in his tank of answers:

If I ask you, in just a few words, to tell me the meaning it holds humor, theater and cinema for you?

"For me the humor is a magic possibility to exchange with the spectator and feeling the joy in oneself. Humor creates bonds, harmony. It has been a vessel in my life to reach others, to tear down boundaries and ways of thinking.

"That factor of humor has been always present in theater, because it’s part of my luggage, therefore lays within the identity of some of the characters I embody in the theater, the cinema and the television. I wouldn’t want to discard it, because sometimes people want to erase an image to avoid the contamination of something else.

"The chemically pure or established genres and its frontiers have faded away. People are made of many fibers, of multicolor strands. When embodying a character, you settle some sort of loom, where you choose strands or shades, because it’s a reflection of how we are in life. It’s about compensating one thing with the other and put in each character and every moment. It’s like a painter creating a canvass; he knows how to take advantage of contrasts, lights and shades."

Following that analogy of shades, how do you put together your life as an actor and those other facets of writer and director?

"Writing is not maybe my strong point; humor scripts which is basically what I have written, because I have not written other things with serious aims of getting published, they have been for the stage, solo shows, monologues, works in which I have participated next to other actors… I’ve done it with the need of that who writes something because the idea came to him and has not found someone else to do it.

“It’s born as a need, but I lack the rigor of those who have that habit, which I’d like to have a little more. The same has happened to me as a director. Not having a director nearby to pass on my ideas forced me to be one. About directing what interests me most is art direction, something I consider necessary and useful in any media and worldwide.

I see direction as the actor who embodies the character he will direct, but then I come out of it and return to perform which is what I love. Doing those things I see them almost as a game, because performing is a bit of that. Sometimes there’s not need to approach things in such “hyper” serious way.

How important is in that theatrical game your alliance of almost 15 years with Carlos Díaz and El Publico?

Really important. Carlos sees theater exactly as a huge party. A party opposed to the solemn, something that has been fundamental for me in these 15 years. Next to him I have had the chance to personalize the most transcendental characters in my career, but assuming them with the serenity with which Carlos assumes each work, with his way of reinventing every day, every process, of fascinating the public…

"Carlos has a keen eye to know what is going on at a social level, of knowing how to return it in images to the spectator. He has been that, the respect, the inquiry, but also the rupture and transgression, people so often talk about, theater and performance must be seen as a great party, and that is very important for us Cubans."

In this versatile Cuba, what views do you have of the censorship and the self-censorship from your perspective as an actor?

"I believe everyone; at some point have suffered the censorship. There are several types of censorship, although I don't justify any. I believe that somebody must look from the outside what is not artistically effective to perform, although that’s arguable and obey tastes and ways of thinking. What I hate about censorship is when people with no training whatsoever exercise it.

“I tried not to self-censor, although the experience and years of life show you ways of developing a speech. All messages can be sent from art. As a field, art exists to ask questions, uncomfortable questions and, of course, to receive uncomfortable answers. Art is also thought to dialogue with the social environment.

I try not to discard the social satire as son or legitimate component of humor, and because we are supported by a political attitude towards life, as for participating in the social debate and the cultural processes that, as human being and country we face. That is what I try to defend with my work, attitude, and I put it on the dialogue with those other segments of society they criticize sometimes. We all don't have to think alike."

Versatility, facets… tell us of your experience as professor of the National School of Art and in the training of your daughter Andrea.

"Versatility is something within us as a nation. We Cubans have to reinvent ourselves in so many other things. I admit I am not good in those matters. I have had to channel versatility through art, the theater, and other means. We are versatile by nature, and I always tell my students that our mothers are opera actresses, because we always see them cooking, washing, working, singing… they laugh at first, they shed a tear; they change overnight, as we Cubans say.

“Sometimes we need to stop to watch how we are and then to internalize many things that we have to put together from the scene through ourselves. The family is one of the best models that exist, and I always recommend that to my students: to watch a lot, to read and live a lot, because that awareness of the environment is something that we should take to the stage.

“I like teaching considerably. When I was very young I taught at the Higher Institute of Arts (ISA by is Spanish acronym). I started along with Armando Suárez del Villar, with lyrical song students. Then, I have indistinctively delivered courses, workshops, things very well directed.

Several years ago, I joined the National Theater School and currently teach lessons with Fernando Echevarría, Carlos Díaz and, generally, we work with the students from the last course”.

“Working with very young people opens up the prospect of what comes next, how they see life and what they want. That forces you to reinvent yourself, to read more every day. In performance, the actor constantly makes decisions.”

“I also see it as a responsibility. Martí used to say that when every man arrives on Earth, he has a right to be educated and then, in return, the duty to contribute to the education of others. That’s our way of repaying and conveying that knowledge to those coming behind..…

“In my case and in my house, my eldest daughter decided to be an actress. If she hadn’t had talent, I wouldn’t have let her to study. She was one of my pupils in those years, therefore, I see my pupils like my children and that is a way to harmonize with them, to understand them, to guide them and to offer them tools to be prepared to face up any medium”.

“Earlier, the lines between each medium were much more marked. Today, that panorama has changed a lot. I think young actors and actresses must be ready for what will come. Currently, we need young directors who are ready to transform that panorama. That is one of the problems that we have. I believe that in recent years there have been young people with a lot of talent, who love both audiovisual and theater, and that is our guarantee of continuity. We need to put all our energy according to that continuity.”

Pupils, children, family. What weight do you grant to the latter?

“A crucial weight. My family is as essential as my vocation for my life; they are conditioned to one other. Without those two things and without Cuba, I would not make sense, nor would my life be.”

Is Cuba that niche of professional achievement?

“Yes, I have tried to articulate my career and my vocation in this country. I think I have worked some 150 years, I feel it like that. But I have been able to afford it, which surely I would have found it impossible to achieve it elsewhere. I have done it with a lot of limitations, as we all know, because the quality of life of many material things is low. I have conditioned everything to my vocation and feel well for that.”

Holguín?

“The land where I was born, I grew up and my parents and my teachers educated me. A place, which I feel a lot of affection for. There, I have relatives, friends; I took my first steps performing on the radio. I made my first works in the theater together with Idalberto Betancourt.”

“There are many people linked to my formation who are still there, and whom I admire and revere.”

A word that defines you?

“Work.”

Cubasi Translation Staff

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