[Film presentation] “A short radiography of hip-hop in Cuba” and “Cubans on the edge of the Berlin wall” @ Cultural Center, New York, USA

This online film series gathers together a selection of highly acclaimed documentaries by Cuban, American, and European filmmakers – half of them women – reflecting a rich variety of themes, but all with Cuba as a point of reference. The films included here explore the plight of Soviet wives in Cuba who fall victim to the trappings of the Cold War; the groundbreaking career of renowned Cuban-American playwright María Irene Fornés, as she is beset by dementia; the existential depreciation of the New Man theory in present-day Havana; Cuban students and workers caught in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall; a Cuban exile and self-proclaimed “elevator man” in the bustle of Manhattan; gay persecution in Cuba seen through the eyes of celebrated writer Reinaldo Arenas; a group of avid Cuban skateboarders striving to advance in their sport; the stark realities faced by the poorest of rural Cubans; the encounter of jazz pianist Bebo Valdés and flamenco singer El Cigala, who fuse their very distinct talents to create musical magic; and an in-depth profile of William Morgan, the legendary American comandante who fought alongside Castro only to later face the firing squad.

The selection of feature-length documentaries is enhanced by five unique shorts: the seminal 1961 film PM, depicting life in Havana’s waterfront bars and cafés shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion; MODEL TOWN, which reveals the fascinating origins of Hershey, a Cuban town dating back to the early decades of the 20th century; PERSON, a poetic depiction of five ordinary citizens; A SHORT RADIOGRAPHY OF HIPHOP IN CUBA, a riveting account of the hip-hop movement in Cuba; and CARIDAD AND THE ROOSTER, which offers a glimpse of the special bond between a Cuban woman and a rooster.

Here is a link to the event.

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