Cuba, 113 min, Spanish with English subtitles
Heads of state have been known to have cats or dogs as cherished pets made famous by their masters. But Fidel Castro had a cow, dubbed Ubre Blanca (White Udder), that made the Guinness Book of Records yielding 110.9 liters of milk in a single day. Director Enrique Colina has become the pre-eminent chronicler of the revolution’s follies and his La vaca de mármol (The Marble Cow), the hilarious tale of the pampered mammal and her legacy, is a classic. When Castro sealed the island’s fate to the Soviet Union in a marriage of convenience, Cubans responded with their trademark irreverence, dubbing the stolid Russians bolos, bowling pins, hence the title Los bolos en Cuba y una eterna amistad (Bowling Pins in Cuba and An Eternal Friendship). As Colina points out, sometimes what matters most is not how history is written, but how it is erased.
They come in all shapes and sizes. They are fearless and fly under the radar. They address a reality that’s either glossed over or spoken of in hushed tones. Armed with little more than their immense talent - and an overriding sense of humor - Cuban independent filmmakers have been carving out a significant niche for themselves. CGAC is delighted to pay tribute to these largely unsung movie heroes with a 9-program, 25-film salute.
Forbidden Fruit: Cuban Independent Film in the 21st Century was programmed in collaboration with Alejandro Ríos, and with the enthusiastic participation of all filmmakers involved - in and out of Cuba. Poster artist: Andrés Ungaro, courtesy of Blanco-Lorenz. Technical support: Magna-Tech Electronic. Special thanks to Rosa Marquetti, SGAE Havana and Dean Luis Reyes, whose series, Cuban Cinema under Censorship, at MoMA in New York City, was the inspiration for this program.
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