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