Yanelys Nuñez Leyva
HAVANA TIMES — Cuban history is plagued with notable mysteries. What we are fed at school is a superficial and triumphalist narrative full of exaggerated ambivalence, where heroes are exceedingly good and evil men the worst you could imagine.
I recall that, when I entered university, one of our history professors told us to forget everything we had learned about the subject till then.
Even though he didn’t quite manage to uproot what I’d been taught previously, he did manage to sow the seeds of doubt in me.
Recently, one of those questions was answered.
I knew very little of the murders that took place at 7 Humboldt Street, Havana, in 1957, next to nothing about Marcos Rodriguez’ involvement in the incident and less about the highly publicized, televised trial this man was subjected to in the 1960s.
It was thanks to a documentary screened at Cuba’s Ludwig Foundation (premiered at the recently concluded New Filmmakers’ Festival) that I was able to delve more deeply into this episode of our history.
Los Amagos de Saturno (“Signs from Saturn”), the name Rosario Alfonso Parodi gave her documentary, tries to unravel the tangled mass of facts surrounding the Humboldt 7 case, focusing on the figure of the informer, Marcos Rodriguez Alfonso.
Through interviews with members of the 26th of July movement, photographs and stock footage from the period, 26-year-old journalism graduate Alfonso gathers a number of recollections on the subject, about which nothing is said today.
The documentary – more than an hour long – moves quickly, perhaps too quickly for someone like me, who knows nothing about the subject.
Generally speaking, the film is a good investigative piece that makes us think about the violence of a historical period and the endless power struggles between revolutionary groups in Cuba, the same ones that triumphed in 1959.