I haven’t written an article since May 2015. In fact, the last thing I wrote and was published on Havana Times was inspired by the movie Regreso a Itaca (Return to Ithaca). Today, I am leaving my refuge and it’s a Cuban film that has brought me to the arena of letters again…
May 1st became another terrible day for Cuban music. Juan Formell leader of Los Van Van, passed away one year ago and, on the same day this year, Lucia Huergo, one of the most notable figures of Cuban music, left the scene forever.
When I arrived in the United States for the first time last summer, it had only been nine days since Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man, had been tragically killed in New York, after a police officer had put him in a chokehold following his detention.
It is as though Aries came along with its fire to take two literary greats from us. In the early morning of Monday, we heard of the passing of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano and, in the afternoon, at the other end of the world, of the death of German novelist Gunter Grass.
What happened in Santiago de Cuba some days ago is worthy of an episode of Puerto Rican host Maria Celeste’s sensationalist show Al Rojo Vivo (“Red Hot”). Let’s discuss the issue of these types of programs.
When they announced on TV that a Cuban Civil Society Forum was being held in Havana and that panel discussions would take place at Casa de las Americas and Casa del ALBA, I couldn’t help but laugh.
The documentary “Omara: Cuba” premiered on Cuban television some days ago. The film documents the 70-year artistic career of the “queen of feeling” or Buena Vista Social Club Diva, as the renowned singer Omara Portuondo is known.
To a foreigner who pays Cuba’s east-laying provinces a visit, the word “pru” means absolutely nothing – but only until a hospitable local offers them a glass of this unique fermented beverage which has become part of the island’s traditions.
“Fatima or el Parque de la Fraternidad” does not aim to be a daring film. It merely tells a story, a personal drama. It won’t be one of the unforgettables of Cuban cinema but it’s worth seeing.
The other day, I read somewhere that Abel Prieto, President Raul Castro’s advisor and Cuba’s former Minister of Culture, had expressed concerns over what he calls the “Americanization” of culture.