Jorge Milanes Despaigne
HAVANA TIMES — Plaff, o demasiado miedo para vivir (“Plaff, or Too Afraid to Live”) is a Cuban film from the late 80s starring Daisy Granados, Luis Alberto Garcia and Thais Valdes, premiered at the close of Cuba’s decade of material abundance.
Concha (the main character), who is in love with Tomas, is afraid of giving in and recognizing her feelings. Tomas insists he loves Concha to death. Faced with this situation, Concha’s family and neighbors pressure her to make a decision and to move in with him.
The tactic used by her loved ones in order to convince her strikes me as curious: around ten eggs are thrown at Concha’s door during the film (hence the film’s title, “plaff”) so that she will believe these are part of a witchcraft ritual and interpret it as a sign that she must move in with her suitor.
Eggs have always had varied uses. This is particularly true in Cuba, where eggs were used to bid farewell to those who decided to “crawl” their way to Miami in the 80s.
Today, I can get my hands on some eggs only when I have the money, and you can find them at the market. Someone said to me recently: “Be grateful you can put something on your plate,” because there are people who can’t even do that.
I don’t believe it would be ethical to make a film portraying such a wasteful use of eggs today. It seems, however, that some people manage to scrounge up some eggs and leave them a street corner after rubbing them over their bodies, part of a cleansing ritual of the Yoruba religion; the same religion alluded to by those who threw the eggs at Concha’s door.