Cuban Movie Festival 2010
From: Minnesota Cuba Committee (
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:35:48 -0800 (PST)
*Cuban Movie Festival 2010*

7:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 4–April 8
St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 Main Street, SE, Minneapolis
Free parking in ramp at 2nd Street SE and 2nd Avenue SE
Admission: $6; 4 for $20

Festival Reception
Thursday, March 11, 4:00 pm –7 pm
Music and hors d'oeuvres
Picosa restaurant, next to the theater
Sponsored by Dialog One translation services

*March 4 ––Clandestinos (Living Dangerously) by Fernando Perez*

Satisfying as both a political thriller and a love story, this feature film
by Fernando Pérez is so naturally realized that it avoids being didactic
even as it commemorates events of the Cuban Revolution. Anti-Batista
activists move from one safe house to another, trying to elude a relentless
police commissioner. Their leader (Luis Alberto García), hardened by prison
and torture, is suspicious of nearly everyone but gradually falls for his
newest recruit, a headstrong idealist (Isabel Santos of El Benny). The
climactic rooftop chase is well choreographed and edited, and Edesio
Alejandro’s surging score recalls early Isaac Hayes. 103 minutes.

General audience discussion of film after screening with U of M Political
Science Professor August Nimtz, who is currently researching material for a
documentary film on the subject of the urban front of the Cuban Revolution.
Pracna on Main, next to the theater.
March 11–El Benny by Jorge Luis Sánchez*

Music and dancing were like drugs in Cuba in the 1950s, and Benny Moré was
the most intoxicating entertainer of that time, according to Jorge Luis
Sánchez’ colorfully entertaining new biopic El Benny. Screened in
competition at the Locarno International Film Festival following its world
premiere in Havana on July 22, the film depicts Moré as a man of the people
whose swinging, mambo-infected jazz made him a household name in Latin
America. With a soundtrack featuring top-line Cuban performers, the film is
cut from the same cloth as hit musical biographies Ray and Walk the Line,
and, given the chance, it should make a substantial claim on that audience.
Wear your dancing shoes! 120 minutes.

General audience discussion with Gloria (La Niña) Rivera, a professional
Cuban singer and musician, and Rene Thompson, Cuban dancer and musician,
both well recognized in the Americas for their talent and knowledge of the
history of Cuban music. Pracna on Main, next to the theater.

*March 18 – The Last Supper* *(La Ultima Cena) by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea*

The Last Supper is set on a sugar plantation in late 18th century Cuba
during the Easter Holy Week, and is based on an actual event. The owner of
the plantation is a count (Nelson Villagra), who picks 12 slaves to share a
feast with him in honor of the Last Supper, with himself as the benevolent
Christ-figure, in order to teach the slaves a lesson in the humility and
grace of Our Lord. An audacious undertaking by one of Cuba’s greatest
directors (Memories of Underdevelopment), the gamble pays off handsomely. A
brilliant and biting mix of perfumed language and oral history, hypocrisy
and harsh reality, oppression and resistance. 120 minutes.

General audience discussion with Raudemar Hernandez Abreu, priest of Ifa and
president of Minnesota/Cuba Yoruba Association, and Raul Marerro-Fente, U of
M professor of Spanish literature, who will share thoughts on Spanish and
African impact on racial issues in Cuba today. Pracna on Main, next to the

March 25 – The Waiting List* *(Lista de Espera) by Juan Carlos Tabío*

Mixing sharp social commentary and comedy, director Juan Carlos Tabío
(Strawberry and Chocolate, The Waiting List) brings together a cast of
characters who possess drastically different personalities, yet find much in
common while they wait (and wait, and wait) for a bus to Santiago. As each
person enters the terminal, he or she must sign a waiting list for the next
bus. Reflecting the unwieldy nature of Cuba’s problems, the line grows
longer, and the only buses that seem to stop are full or broken down. As the
passengers get to know each other, romance develops, friendships form, and
the bus station becomes more than a bus station--an undertaking that echoes
Cuban governmental calls for grassroots efforts toward community
improvement.105 minutes.

General audience discussion of film after screening with Gary Prevost,
Professor of Political Science and Latin American Studies at St. John's
University and the College of St. Benedict, who will share his research and
experience with Cuba’s social democracy and the people’s power government in
Cuba. Pracna on Main, next to the theater.

*April 1 – Viva Cuba by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti*

In a tale akin to Romeo and Juliet, the friendship between two children is
threatened by their parents’ differences. Malu is from an upper-class family
and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito. Jorgito’s
mother is a poor socialist, proud of her family’s social standing, who
places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the
immense strength of the bond between Malu and Jorgito. When the children
learn that Malu’s mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel to
the other side of the island to find Malu’s father and persuade him against
signing the forms that would allow it. Juan Carlos Cremata’s two young stars
are captivating, real naturals the camera can’t resist. You’ll remember them
long after you’ve left the theater. Viva Cuba won 34 national and
international awards in all. 80 minutes.

General audience discussion of film after screening with Gary Prevost,
Professor of Political Science and Latin American Studies at St. John's
University and the College of St. Benedict, who will facilitate discussion
on the Cuban Adjustment Act and the Cuban educational system which provides
the highest levels of education to all Cubans for free. Pracna on Main, next
to the theater.

*April 8–Suite Havana by Fernando Pérez*

Fernando Pérez’s masterful 2003 film is all the more lyrical for his
decision to bypass narration. Through a gradual accretion of contemplative
shots, Pérez interweaves studies of a diverse selection of Havanans,
including a railroad worker, a peanut vendor, a ballet dancer, and an
architect. A lyrical, meticulously-crafted homage to the battered but
resilient inhabitants of a battered but resilient city, Pérez’s Suite Havana
fuses fiction and documentary, shunning the sun ‘n’ salsa clichés of La
Isla. Havana’s weathered facades and seafront bear mute witness to the ebb
and flow of its people’s lives and the persistence of their dreams. Cuba’s
newspaper Granma praised it as “one of the most important films in the
history of Cuban cinema,” while a Catholic priest urged his parishioners to
go and see Suite Havana for its “eloquent and revealing images of daily life
in Cuba today.” 90 minutes.

General audience discussion with Professor Charlie Sugnet, U of M English
Department, sharing thoughts on the impact of Cuban cinema on developing
country’s cinema industry from Latin America to Africa. Pracna on Main, next
to the theater.

Minnesota Cuba 
Resource Center of the Americas–
Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral–
Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota–
Common Good Books–
El Meson Restaurant–
Dialog One (translation services)–
Victor's 1959 Café–
Mediterranean Cruise Café–
René Cuban Style Dance Studio–
Minnesota Film Arts–
*Raudemar Hernández Abreu **(La Asociación Yoruba Cuba de Minnesota)
* <>*Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church*-
<>*Department of Spanish and Portuguese,
University of Minnesota*

More information:
MnCuba [at]–763-228-2899
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