Films Rekindle Soviet Memories

By Irina Echarry

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Artist “Fede” Loves Soviet Cinema

HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 4.- “I don’t know why people don’t run to see these Soviet films, they’re the best around,” said a 37-year-old plastic artist called “Fede” who says he never misses a Havana Film Festival.

I understand why he is so passionate about the films. Besides the excellent directors and actors and the heart rendering and interesting stories coming from a different culture, what most attracts him is the memory.

I was born under Soviet domination: in my house the television and radio were Soviet; my parents took me to eat at the Moscow Restaurant; we watched Soviet cartoons, and almost all my friends have Cubanized Slavic names.

When I was very young my mother took me to see Potemkin, She says I was crying throughout. When I grew up I found myself amazed by that master work of Eisenstein.

To Fede’s delight and others like him that love Soviet cinema, Mosfilm and the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) have signed agreements to continue the ties that for many years united them, independent of the cultures and political differences today, with a different Russia and a Cuba eager to express and learn things.

Yuri Grigorovich's Spartacus
Yuri Grigorovich's Spartacus

For now we once again identify ourselves with the tormented Uncle Vanya, a version of the work by Anton Chekhov and we enjoyed the beauty of the ballet Spartacus, interpreted by important figures of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater in the film by director Yuri Grigorovich.

The Riviera Theater at 3:00 p.m. is never full, quite the opposite. Cubans have a very marked love-hate relationship with Russia. I hope that in the coming days the love prevails and more people come to see these great films.