People without God and the State, after the incessant media deaths of Fidel Castro, as in a classroom-cage that’s been left without their despotic teacher, our society is doomed to becoming unhinged overnight. Even in a single night, without having to wait for the morning, our little lives can experiment the one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine anecdotes and extract from them a single significance.
In effect, Cuba is beginning to resemble a tele-play, class Z revolutionary themed. An uncaptioned series. Pasture for foreign productions. Scenario where all the characters are extras: scraps of the script floating in the wind of an unbearable island dullness.
Nothing is old under the same post-socialist sun. Ecclesiastical guidelines. Newspeak, newhistory, New. Cuba is not the tedium of a cinematic Moebius strip with no inside, no outside, but rather it is an empty adventure in the style of The Matrix, where the despotic power is unseen but present. And where all that still shines in the middle of the barbarity are the glasses of the General President, whose clapperboard controls not the fraud change but the unchangeable fraud. Ad islinitum.
Much of this televised velocity is included in the copy-and-paste of a New York film, One Night, from the director Lucy Molloy, a film made in Manhattabana that even its actors mistook for a reality-show, using it as a springboard to escape the Castro catacombs of our Caribbean North Korea.
Here in the beginning and at the end it is the verb: the action, the persecution whose only purpose is to take away from Death a few minutes of film, cut to Che. Poetics of the video-clip, of the ephemeral gimmick, of the superficial that almost always is a symptom much more sincere than so-called profundity.
The rush-rush of faked sequences, anger and haste, sometimes with hints of a fake police documentary. Words like kicks. Free, crazy and loquacious language, as befits a professionally amateur cast. And, in the background, in addition to the redundant Cuban music, it’s not even necessary to voice-over Desnoes’ rudeness that our capital “looks like Tegucigalpa.” And it doesn’t seem so at this point in the story. The ironies of Memories of Underdevelopment confronting the illusions of the Left, at half a century of totalitarianism, is already an inevitable background, spontaneously occupying even the worst of tourist photographs of official propaganda.
One Night is not a bad story-board for when Lucy Molloy returns to Havana one night, not only to recreate but to create the tragedy. We need that, a culture without capitalist guilt resulting in an “unjust” dessert for the Cuban people. Or “inappropriate” before the altar of American academia (without the Revolution there would be no PhD theses nor copyrighted textbooks). I fear that we need a reactionary filmography. From the indecent Right. Neocon. Movies disposed to precipitate the debacle not from art, but from the disaster.
The other would be another half century of kitsch.
From Diario de Cuba
27 August 2013