Islands / I Lands, NOW—Vista de Cuba

The extraordinary island of Cuba has long drawn the attention of Latin America and the rest of the world as it has approached various turning points in its history. Here we focus on this country as an ‘island,’ not only in a geographical sense, but by comparison with artists’ creative activities, films themselves, and our own bodies, as well as the rich influence it has exerted to date on Latin American films, which have displayed renewed vitality in recent years.

Venue: Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Small Hall)

In 1959 the El Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC) was founded by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Julio García Espinosa and others, and Cuban film eventually entered its golden era. At the same time, Santiago Álvarez started the news service Noticiero ICAIC Latinoamerican, which produced 1,492 films over a thirty-year period until 1990. These films that covered wars of liberation and other current events, not only domestically but also in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, were shown around Cuba and abroad, introducing Álvarez’ editorial aesthetic to the world. This program introduces a portion of his work.

In addition, we take note of the work of his contemporary Nicolás Guillén Landrián, who pioneered folklore-influenced documentary in Cuba from his Afro-Cuban perspective; Cuba’s first female director Sara Gómez, who died young; and the early works of Fernando Pérez, who remains at the vanguard of Cuban film today as he forges ahead with his unique stance.

Also included are the ‘Another Eye’ of Chris Marker, Agnès Varda and others who have spent time in Cuba; works on other ‘Immigrants’ Island’ from Asia and elsewhere; ‘Following to Suite Habana’ of works by up-and-coming filmmakers struggling with limited equipment and restrictive circumstances to continue to make documentaries; and other documentaries brimming with wit and passion regarding the magnetic isle of Cuba, as seen through the eyes of filmmakers living in the moment. Screenings will be accompanied by talkshows featuring a diverse array of perspectives.

Wondering Cuba
For the First Time Octavio Cortazar / 1967 / 10 min
El Mégano Julio García Espinosa / 1955 / 25 min
Wondering Cuba Oct. 7 CS

Santiago Álvarez
Death to the Invader 1961 /16 min
Hurricane 1963 / 22 min
Now! 1965 / 6 min
L.B.J. 1968 / 18 min
Departure at 18:00 1969 / 41 min
ICAIC Latin American News 1960–1990
Accelerated Development—In the Idiom of Santiago Alvarez Travis Wilkerson / 1999 / 56 min
Santiago Álvarez I, II Oct. 8 CS | Santiago Álvarez III Oct. 9 CS

Sara Gómez
Chronicle of My Family 1966 / 13 min
An Island for Miguel 1967 / 18 min
And . . . We’ve Got Taste 1967 / 30 min
On the Other Island 1968 / 41 min
Treasure Island 1969 / 10 min
One Way or Another 1974 / 82 min
Sara Gómez I, II Oct. 7 CS

Nicolás Guillén Landrián
In an Old Neighborhood 1963 / 9 min
Dancers 1965 / 6 min
Ociel of the Toa River 1965 / 17 min
Reportage 1966 / 9 min
Return to Baracoa 1966 / 15 min
Coffea Arabica 1968 / 18 min
Nicolás Guillén Landrián Oct. 9 CS

Fernando Pérez
4,000 Children 1980 / 15 min
Camilo 1982 / 24 min
Omara 1983 / 26 min
Havana Suite 2003 / 84 min
Havana Suite Oct. 8 A6 | Fernando Pérez Oct. 10 CS

Another Eye
Filmmakers from abroad visited Cuba in 1960 at the invitation of the ICAIC and other organizations, and their help and guidance to the young authors served as an important waymark for the subsequent success of the newly founded ICAIC. “Another Eye” presents a different aspect of Cuban cinema, from the viewpoint of foreign filmmakers who produced collaborations in Cuba.

Hi There, Cubans Agnés Varda / 1963 /30 min
Ella Theodor Christensen / 1964 / 34 min
The Battle of the Ten Million Chris Marker / 1971 / 58 min
Another Eye I Oct. 7 CS | Another Eye II Oct. 10 CS

Immigrants Island
Cuba is in many ways an island of immigrants. The migratory fluxes that began over 500 years ago still continue today.

The Longest Journey Rigoberto López / 1987 / 18 min
Dance of Time Song Il-gong / 2009 / 92 min
The Island of Youth Ana Laura Calderón / 2007/ 72 min
Immigrants Island I, II Oct. 11 CS

Following to Suite Habana
It has been nearly eight years since the 2003 Cuban release of Havana Suite, a film that drew much attention both in Cuba and internationally. While continuing to embrace the themes that flow through Havana Suite, namely “what are dreams?” and “living in the present,” a new generation of filmmakers is confronting Cuban reality from its own perspective.

Sugar Curtain Camila Guzmán Urzúa / 2006 / 80 min
Looking for Havana Alina Rodríguez Abreu / 2006 / 21 min
Martí Alana Simoes / 2007 / 13 min
Dual Me Alana Simoes / 2007 / 15 min
How to Build a Boat Susana Barriga / 2007 / 13 min
The Illusion Susana Barriga / 2008 / 24 min
The Lonely Beds Sandra Gómez / 2006 / 14 min
Today Is the Future Sandra Gómez / 2009 / 35 min
Bohió Carlos Y. Rodríguez / 2010 / 14 min
Cuba Sentimental Tanuma Sachiko / 2010 / 59 min
Following to Suite Habana I Oct. 8 CS | Following to Suite Habana II Oct. 9 CS
Following to Suite Habana III Oct. 11 CS | Following to Suite Habana IV Oct. 12 CS

Susana Barriga (filmmaker)
Fernando Pérez (filmmaker)
Tanuma Sachiko (filmmaker)
Higa Setsuko (Latin American film distributor)
Okada Hidenori (film researcher / curator, National Film Center)
and more . . .