Insumisas: A Contemporary Film with Period Costume

Fernando Pérez and Laura Cazador didn't want to give a history lesson; it’s a film with period costume, which attempts to establish a conversation with today's day.

The movie “is alive on itself, spectators complete it” and if it raises debate and reflection, its directors are satisfied. That intention of combining historical search with a contemporary speech was the first challenge, says the experienced director of Cuban cinema Fernando Pérez:

“That was the first huge challenge. Because the Enriqueta’s case has many approaches, in theater you may find The Traps of Brene, there are several cinema scripts that never came to be, the novel of Antonio Benítez Rojo and there’s a fundamental research that of Julio Cesar González Pagés that really knows all the humane and divine about this character. What we were interested in was not only the real story, but rather how to fill and express all those moments left out in history, those most intimate and, mainly starting from the idea that we wanted to give the character a contemporary image and we didn't just want to stay in the gender transgression, but also in those other transgressions which are political, social, always defending the individuality in a character that was ahead of its time. The pieces of the real Enriqueta and that of our movie, but the one in the movie is the one we were interested in showing to the spectator.”

Indeed, the young Swiss filmmaker who co-directed, assures that the story lived by Enrique or Enriqueta Faber in the XIX Century has a lot to tell to the men and women of these times:

“I believe that the topic of transgression that Fernando has just mentioned, not only of gender, politics, moral, geographical, has a lot to say today, because sometimes for an individual within a society reaches the moment that the established codes, the established order can limit him, it can even suffocate him. That still happens today, women, but also men, human beings who are forced to break regulations in order to co-exist with what they think, with their values, for example, Swiss women, a very developed country, they only earned their right to vote in 1972, very recently, still today in Switzerland, most women, for the same job position of a man, earn less, that is, there are still things to change.

“Another transgression is that of African migrants who don't have food or water at best and in the worst case scenario there are wars and their lives in real danger, they have to transgress laws, they have to cross the ocean, although laws forbid it and here we are not talking about living hand in hand with their ideals, with their conscience, but of simply saving their lives. Likewise there are a lot of people in Europe who, against the criminalizing politics of the United States are welcoming, against the law, migrants in their houses, that is forbidden, they have to transgress law to be able to be coherent with themselves, to feel well, to be able to look at their faces in the mirror. Transgression always comes with a price and its risks, but there are human beings who cannot simply follow the rules and laws and to live well with that.”

Insumisas won the collateral award that, for the first time gave the Campaign Join a Life without Violence, about this award Fernando Pérez said:

“I think this has been a very important award, because it was that in fact what motivated us, because Enriqueta Faber’s transgressions in history, although many of those prejudices have already been overcome, some of them persist and we wanted the spectator to meditate on that. It happened now, I believe there has been a synchronism between the movie and our reality, for example, now we knew that in the Constitution Draft to be voted in February, article 68 that it was supposed to open the possibility and recognition of equitable marriage has not been approved, a clear sign that there are still lack of understanding about the diversity that represents the individual freedom, the established morals always tends to standardize and we all don’t dress the same, it’s not that all doors are closed, because the family code will also be analyzed, this is a step ahead and the existence of the movie now and falling in the middle of this context, we find it very stimulating and it satisfies us that a movie like this, with a historical theme has that contemporary resonance and that spectators can also meditate about this reality.”

The film will be run this year at the International Festival of Human Rights in Geneva. And Cubans will be able to watch it in the 60th anniversary of ICAIC, on March 23-24 after all premiere cinemas will run it.

A two-voice film

The diversity lies in the very origin of this film, we just have to see that is directed by an experienced Cuban filmmaker and a young Swiss filmmaker. From the production Insumisas is a bet for diversity and respect.

For Laura Cazador, “it was a huge privilege to be able to work with Fernando for the whole experience he has, for his outstanding career and therefore the bulk of information I could learn, how much I learned by his side, for me was a really important privilege. On the other hand, at a more personal level, it was a very beautiful experience we already knew each for many years, we had already even shared cinema experiences, we already had that complicity, working together was nice, because since the writing of the script that we shared at four hands, to the final edition, the soundtrack design, we did all the processes together, side by side, and for me it was very enriching, a very fluid experience.

“Maybe because we are so near and yet so very different in age, the nationality, me with very little experience, him a lot of it, that is, there were several things distant from each other, however we had a very special harmony when working. Of course sometimes different viewpoints, but always with great respect, with a lot of humor also and a lot of professionalism. I am very grateful that it happened…”

On the other hand, Fernando Pérez says that it was “equally enriching the experience and he could add that really this movie could not have done without Laura, because the movie comes from her, when I began working with her the plot was quite advanced, the original idea, I know her since she was a little girl. I know her sensibility and we had also worked together in several alternative projects, but there was also a feminine look in this movie that was essential: it’s a movie of women and although I have worked with female stars, contradictory feminine characters, etc., here was a particularity that only Laura could, to my eyes, improve it.

“Her work with the main actresses was fundamental, the characters of Enriqueta and Juana past that particularity, I defend greatly author cinema, but I also believe that cinema can be shared and I wanted to demonstrate it too… whenever the same idea is the starting point, of course, we share the same horizons, the same objectives and then during the process, we had doubts and sometimes different views, but they were always solved from that same path that guided us. And I think that, far beyond Laura’s feminine look she also contributed with what I always call the young look. I have many years of experience, but each movie is different and I don’t like to keep only what I know, but with what I will discover and for that reason I like working with young people…. “

  • Published in Now

Joya's Concert Opens International Jazz Plaza Festival in Cuba

Havana, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) The 34th International Festival Jazz Plaza 2019 begins on Monday with a concert by contrabassist Gaston Joya at 6:30 p.m. local time, at Teatro Nacional de Cuba's Covarrubias hall.

Scheduled until January 20, the event has prepared a wide variety of concerts and jazz performances in the cultural centers of Havana and Santiago de Cuba, the latter is the sub-venue for third time.

Another event for Monday is the performance of the Young Jazz Band by maestro Joaquin Betancourt, who will be accompanied by Argentine pianist Adrian Iaes at the Mella Theater in Havana.

Maestro Bobby Carcasses will give a concert on January 16 along with American multi-instrumentalist Roger Glenn, saxophonist Yosvany Terry and trombonist Dick Griffin at Teatro Nacional de Cuba's Avellaneda hall.

The shows 'Benny More un siglo después' (Benny More a century later) are expected, led by guitarist Hector Quintana, as well as the concerts by Arturo O'Farrill, Orlando Valle (Maraca) and the Aragon Orchestra.

A night of luxury is programmed for the closing ceremony in Havana, with pianist and composer Roberto Fonseca and his guests, among which the Bride of Feeling Omara Portuondo will perform.

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Cuba Publishes List of Voters for Referendum on Constitution

The lists of voters for the February 24 referendum on Cuba's new Constitution are being published Monday and Tuesday, sources of the National Electoral Commission (CEN) said. According to the authorities sworn on December 28 to organize, direct and validate the elections, each person can verify as January 16 the records, which should include more than eight million voters, that are being called to ratify the Constitution approved on December 22 by the People''s Power National Assembly.

Quoted by Granma newspaper, Colonel Mario Mendez, Chief of Identification, Immigration and Foreign Affairs Direction, said that the lists will be put in 'visible places near polling stations.'

Mendez urged voters to corroborate their personal data, and if necessary, proceed to correct them, modify them and update them in the procedure offices of each municipality.

According to the high officer of the Ministry of the Interior, these facilities -known in Cuba as Identity Card Offices- will be reinforced in the coming days to guarantee the electoral process.

More than eight million Cubans are eligible to the vote on February 24, a national date, which marks the restart in 1895 of the war against Spanish colonialism, to pronounce on the new Constitution, a text that ratifies Cuba's socialist nature and the leading role of the Communist Party in society.

The constitution reflects changes in the structure of the State, extends guarantees and human rights, promotes foreign investment, strengthens people's power from the grassroots (the municipalities) and recognizes several forms of property, including private property.

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Bus Driver Responsible for Accident that Killed 7, Injured 33 in Cuba

Authorities of the Cuban eastern province of Guantanamo held the driver of the bus responsible for the accident that killed seven passengers, including four foreigners, and injured 33 last Thursday.

Following relevant investigation, experts from the Ministry of Interior concluded the driver violated transit laws, and was speeding along a wet road on a rainy day when he should have slowed down, and was not paying attention to traffic signals nor taking extreme caution.

On Thursday, January 10, at 16:10 local time in a place known as Loma de Herradura, some 980 kilometers east of Havana, the driver of a Yutong inter-provincial bus belonging to Viazul Transport Company, lost control of the vehicle that skidded off the road.

Three Cubans and four foreigners (two Argentineans, one French and a German) lost their lives. Besides, another 33 passengers got wounded.

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More than 550 literary works compete for Casa de las Americas award in Cuba

Havana, January 12 (RHC)-- More than 550 works from various Latin American countries are contending for the 60th edition of the Literary Award Casa de las Americas, organized each year by this Cuban cultural institution.

According to a press conference, the texts are divided into the following sections: novels (167), poetry (224), social history essays (28), Brazilian literature (45), Latin studies in the United States (19) and literature for children (101).

The event is prestigious with a jury composed of renowned artists such as Argentinean narrator Victor Goldgel-Carballo, Chilean essayist Lina Meruane, Ecuadorian poet Raul Vallejo and Cuban filmmaker Eduardo del Llano.

According to the researcher Jorge Fornet, these artists show the event´s significance, with six decades in the cultural panorama of the region, continues to be loyal to the ideals of its formation but with a renewing spirit.

Just ten days before the event's opening, scheduled from January 21st to the 30th, the essayist referred to the new challenges of the competition to continue mobilizing the continent's great writers.  However, he said, it is still an event that brings together talented and recognized writers from the continent and excellent literary proposals.

During the event, books from the prize winners in 2018 will be presented and they will hold lecture addresses on core issues related to literature of the region.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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Cuba Denounces Program to Stimulate its Doctors' Brain Drain

Havana, Jan 12 (Prensa Latina) Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced Saturday attempts to impose the Cuban Medical Parole Program, established by the U.S. government of George W. Bush (2001-2009) and repealed by that of Barack Obama (2009-2017).

'They are trying to impose a perverse resource to stimulate brain drain. One more anti-Cuban campaign, which reveals imperial impotence in the face of revolutionary conquests. Its promoters cannot favor a civilized relationship, they are blinded by the arrogance #SomosCuba', wrote the Head of State in his Twitter @DiazCanelB.

Cuban-origin senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez introduced a resource in Congress last Thursday to demand the current administration re-establish the brain drain program aimed at health professionals working on medical missions abroad.

Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, US general director of Cuba's foreign ministry, posted on Twitter on Friday that powerless resentment against Cuba has no limits.

Uncapable of hindering recognized human professional development, baseball quality and potential investment. Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio want to restore a brain drain program against Cuban doctors', the diplomat wrote in his Twitter @Carlos FdeCossio.

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Cuba Is Organizing a The Beatles Week

Havana, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) The Cinematheque of Cuba is organizing a The Beatles Week as of January 16 with a varied program in homage to the legendary English band.

According to a statement from that entity, the inauguration will be on January 16 at Cine 23 y 12, in downtown Havana, where the institution has its headquarters, and will be extended to the Charlie Chaplin hall until the 20th.

The Week will make available to the public records, images and books related to the life and career of the successful group formed in the city of Liverpool and recognized as the most praised by critics in the history of rock music.

Its influence on popular culture remains remarkable despite its disintegration and the passage of time.

In Cuba, its musical memory is still valid and is noticeable in several cultural sites such as the Yellow Submarine night club, which has an avant-garde design fused with pop art concepts.

Also, there is a bronze sculpture in tribute to Lennon, founder of the band and its most iconic member.

The work is located in a park with that name, located on 17th and 6th streets in the capital city and is the result of the work of Cuban artist Jose Villa Soberon.

Every December 8, in remembrance of his death, concerts and cultural activities are held in his memory.

One of the most recent tributes was the one made in 2017 at the 50th anniversary of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the best and most sold in history.

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Cuba to Publish Electoral List for Referendum

The list of voters who will participate the February 24 referendum on Cuba's new Constitution will be released as of January 16, local radio reported on Monday.

It is important that each person verifies registration and data, and if necessary, proceed to correct, modify or update them with the corresponding constituency authorities.

The list of voters is the public document that includes identification and residence data of the citizens eligible to active vote, registered in the Electoral Registration.

Legally protected by Decree Law 248/2007, the Electoral Registration is public and permanent, and all citizens with legal capacity to vote are registered on it, Radio Rebelde station recalls.

Correos de Cuba company put the Constitution of the Republic at the Cuban inhabitants' disposal.

The Parliament recalled during a press release that the Constitution that will replace the one in force since 1976 was approved on December 22 in the Assembly, during the second ordinary period of the 9th Legislature.

The 16-page tabloid is already available in all provinces, and its price is one Cuban peso, the document said.

Cubans have already accessed the document through media and the Internet, for a referendum in which more than eight million citizens are convened.

The new Constitution is the result of a broad popular consultation, held from August 13 to November 15, with the participation of almost nine million people in 133,000 meetings held in neighborhoods and workplaces and schools.

  • Published in Cuba
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