A Tribute to Puerto Rican Cinema in Cuba

cinePLeslie Salgado Arzuaga writes about the recent tribute to Puerto Rican cinema in the recent 34th edition of the New Latin American Cinema Festival [Festival de Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano] in Havana, Cuba. The festival took place from December 4-14, 2012 [also see previous post 34th Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana]. Here is a summary and rough translation of the
original review.

This 34th edition was dedicated to 100 years of Puerto Rican cinema. The tribute was expressed not only through a scheduled retrospective but also in academic seminars such as Puentes y más Puentes Latinos en USA [Bridges and More Latino Bridges in the United States].

[. . .] A year ago, the 33rd edition of the Festival had brought to the Cuban capital the Puerto Rican film El clown. Those who enjoyed this film by Pedro Adorno and Emilio Rodríguez could not imagine that, behind the plot, was a story of perseverance and renewal. The democratization of technological means for the audiovisual production and Adorno’s experience with his theater group Agua, Sol y Sereno made ​​this film a reality. Adorno revealed the history behind El clown during the first session of the seminar.

[. . .] The packed auditorium listened, shared, asked questions about the intricacies of Puerto Rican cinema during these one hundred years of resistance. Actor and director Jacobo Morales, film and television director Kacho López, and filmmakers Álvaro Aponte, Pedro Adorno, and Monchy Almodóvar showed that the possibilities offered by new technologies are fueling a film movement by young directors on the island that no one would have dreamed a few years ago.

Monchy Almodóvar recalled essential moments configuring the history of Puerto Rican cinematography. This exploration, along with a retrospective from [Morales’] Dios los cría to the present, confirmed that, indeed, the island has lived one hundred years of a cinema of resistance, as the speakers at the seminar demonstrated.

[. . .] Films like Dios los cría by Jacobo Morales, known as doyen of Puerto Rican film, La operación by Ana María García, Cuando lo pequeño se hace grande by Mariem Pérez Riera, or Luis Muñoz Marín y Pedro Albizu campos, una patria, dos caminos by Caridad Sorondo Flores—shown during the festival as part of the retrospective—express, through cinema, areas of strength and spaces of tension.

According to Jacobo Morales, the task of filmmakers today confronts the goals of institutions that promote the production a universalist type of film, which is not representative of Puerto Rican culture—a movement which he qualifies as “Nonsense!”

Concerned about the continuity of such valuable insights, president of the Festival of New Latin American Cinema Alfredo Guevara stressed the need for the furtherance of the discussion sparked by this meeting of minds, saying that “It is necessary to connect Puerto Rico to Latin America and Latin America to Puerto Rico.” This is one of the very valuable reasons why it was important for the Festival and Casa de las Américas’ Program for Latino Studies in the United States to come together in tribute of a film industry that is fated to continue down the path of resistance.

[Photo above: Pedro Adorno, Ana María García, and Jacobo Morales with other filmmakers on the panel.]

For original article (in Spanish), see http://www.80grados.net/homenaje-la-habana-a-un-siglo-de-cine-en-puerto-rico/

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