14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 4 March 2017 — Miami and Havana are the same city. Those censored here, in Havana, are going to end up over there; while the residents there spend their vacations here. The movies that are not allowed in the Cuban theaters find their place in Calle Ocho in Miami. Santa y Andrés, a film directed by Carlos Lechuga and censored at the Festival of New Latin American Cinema, will be presented this Sunday at the Miami Film Festival.
The film could not premiere on the Island because the authorities were bothered by its treatment of the story of a homosexual intellectual persecuted and monitored in the decade of the eighties. Without having made the necessary mea culpa for that witch hunt, officialism refuses to accept that punishment against artists once existed.
The more orthodox argued that their script distorted the facts and was unaware that many of the mistakes had been rectified
The controversy over the exclusion of the movie was unleashed for weeks and the most orthodox argued that that script distorted the facts and didn’t note that many of the mistakes had been rectified. As if it would be useful to publish a poetry book by an author whose reputation was assassinated two decades earlier and to whom the worst adjectives were attached.
The defenders of the film point out its undeniable artistic values and believe that in speaking publicly of those dark moments of the national culture the movie helps to build a better future. But even the opinions of renowned directors such as Fernando Pérez have not changed the ideas of the Party machinery of the Department of Revolutionary Guidance (DOR).
In the film, the two distant worlds that represent each of the protagonists manage to find a common thread. Perhaps the greatest annoyance felt by the censors is not the treatment of the conflicted poet, but the director’s thesis that it is possible to be reconciled amid such abysmal differences.
This possibility of the protagonists conversing and embracing in spite of the ideological gulfs that separate them, may have influenced the opposition to the movie Lettuce. In a country where political hatred is the main engine that drives power, there is no room for the reconciliation promoted by the film.
The Cuban Institute of Art and Film Industry (ICAIC) simply played its role of applying scissors to the national culture, but the order was given from above. From an entity that, fortunately, is still not able to control the movies that are shown in Miami, that other Cuban province.