On August 13 at 7pm Cuban films from the archive will be discussed at the request of Florian Zeyfang. Films by Sara Gómez, Chris Marker, Sabá Cabrera Infante and Orlando Jiménez Leal will be screened. „Más surrealista que socialista – the architect and artist Ricardo Porro experienced the first euphoric years after the Cuban Revolution more surreal than socialist. In the two decades after the revolt, some of the most exciting films testified to this atmosphere of departure in Cuba, as well as to the international sympathy and support. The new policy encouraged the search for new visual languages, as well as a debate about the possible or necessary contributions of filmmakers and artists to the revolution. These discussions partly influenced productions, for example by Tomás Guitiérez Alea. Julio García Espinosa wrote his famous text on "imperfect cinema" (Cine imperfecto). To some extent they also led to conflict and failure as on the occasion of the experimental film P.M. of Sabá Cabrera Infante and Orlando Jiménez Leal in 1961. In the late 1960s and the "Gray Quinquennium" in the early 1970s the struggle for economic survival and the approach to socialism changed the debates. The "surrealist" euphoria of the early years was now replaced by the conflicts of everyday life.“ (Florian Zeyfang)
The following films will be screened:
DE CIERTA MANERA, Sara Gómez, Cuba 1974, 35mm, OVGeS, 79 min
The film is deemed to be one of the most important productions of the "gray" 1970s. It is the only fiction film by Sara Gómez, which was completed by Alea and Espinosa after her untimely death. A mix of documentary and feature film, it describes the life of two protagonists in a Cuban slum. The values and standards of the residents have not changed after the construction of the new buildings – a new society does not appear on demand.
“The Cuban filmmaker expresses itself as a revolutionary; for us cinema is inevitably biased.“ (Sara Gómez)
LA BATAILLE DES DIX MILLIONS, Chris Marker, Cuba 1970, 35mm, OV with German commentary, 79 min
With this film, the recently deceased Chris Marker left a testimonial of the participation of international intellectuals in the development of Cuba: Fidel Castro had declared the "struggle for ten million tons of sugar" – a huge amount, because by that time the record was about seven million. In spite of the mobilization of the entire population in this great assault with machetes the battle was lost, at least the intended goal was not reached. This document was created in collaboration with the Cuban ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes e Industria Cinematográficos) and the filmmaker group SLON.
“Needless to say, that Chris Marker handwriting is visible through the intelligence as well as the effectiveness of the montage.“ (International Forum of New Cinema 1977)
P.M., Sabá Cabrera Infante and Orlando Jiménez Leal, Cuba 1961, DVD, without dialogue, 12 min
The screening of the film begins with an introduction to the debate on this film and the "Words to the Intellectuals“ by Fidel Castro which succeeded the film and its censorship. With sound but without text it is the document of a night in the bars of Havana.