Havana Film Festival

Rarely before the time constraints of a single session of cinema has made it more difficult trying to choose which films not to show you from the large production of the International Film and TV school of Cuba EICTV.

Our aim is to showcase the consistency in quality output through their 30 years of existence. And, also, the way they do things. We have watched a great number of films coming from EICTV and there is an identifiable theme/ genre? That goes across most of the movies, remember we are not talking Cuban cinema alone, most of the directors of these films aren’t Cubans yet there is a common line of view, something that goes across different promotions of the School and underpins the narrative of the films we are showing in this Cinemaattic event.

We avoid falling into well-established archetypes, you will find no dance or music in this collection, and neither we will be trying to judge Cuban recent history. The unifying factors are subtler than that; it doesn’t get down to recognisable characters or spaces (no beach either, sorry guys welcome to the jungle) but to a feeling or a line of physiological narrative to the subject that is well present in these films. This psychological atmosphere gives us the stage where realistic and very understandable anxieties are shown.

santeria cubanaIf we thought about cinema as entertainment but also as a way to give the most accurate portrait of a society in all levels we would find this unifying strand to be Cuba.

Cuba is in itself a great subject for a cinematographic focus. The wealth of social variety, the influence of their recent story, its resistance to influence from most of the outside world (and the myth that goes around it), the expectation of a normalisation of its relationships with the rest of the world and the changes this will bring set a unique pattern, creates a topical character which we are about to explore in more detail through the lenses of EICTV students and is the source of the anxieties of the characters represented in the films.

EICTV students give us a snap shot on today’s Cuban life, both in their cities and in rural areas, which is free from explicit criticism; it doesn’t try to be judgmental. The films we are showing in this short celebration of the EICTV will offer an insight on different segments of Cuban society and how the recent history of their country affects the way the live. We will see those supportive of the regime and those who inherit the revolution, those who lost it all and those who see everything from the distance, unaffected by its realities, those who continue to live as they have done for 100s of years. They all get along with their lives, their fears and hopes and we are privileged to witness how they deal with their problems.

The result is a collection of films of the highest quality that act as a witness of a normality. Regardless of the argument the cameras simply extract a period of time off the lives of their characters and offer it to the audience uncontaminated from western prejudice. Is up to us to fill the gaps and demystify the topical view of Caribbean life by seeing everyday situations influenced by circumstances very particular to them but dealing with issues to which we can all relate.

Put it in your diaries

11th Of November 2017

@ CCA Glasgow

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