EFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, November 3, 2023 — The documentary Libres X Derecho [Free by Right], which includes “a brief account” of what has happened since the popular outbreak in Cuba on 11 July 2021 (’11J’), told from the perspective of 14 relatives of the detainees, is presented this Saturday in Miami before its tour through international festivals, according to its screenwriter, journalist and writer María Matienzo speaking to EFE.
Created by the organization Mesa de Diálogo de la Juventud Cubana (MDJC) [Cuban Youth Roundtable], which emerged in 2014 “with young people and for young people” to “transform today’s reality on the Island,” the documentary narrates in 27 minutes “how the events happened, how they were imprisoned, what they experienced in the prisons, who they were before 11J and, finally, the convictions,” explains Matienzo.
Libres X Derecho is the work of a team led by MDJC psychologist and coordinator Kirenia Yalit Núñez, who, according to the program, will be present at the screening in Miami.
Under the title #Exprésate: Libres por Derecho [Express Yourself: Free by Right], the event will take place at the Ruka Winewood, in the artistic neighborhood of Wynwood, and, in addition to the documentary, will exhibit 19 collages of urban artists who live in Cuba and have been inspired by the film.
Matienzo describes the script work as “hard.”
“It was hard to see the testimonies of these parents, because both Kirenia and I were founders of Justicia 11J, an organization that has been dedicated since 11J to locating relatives of the detainees, following up with them and providing them with help.”
Having to relive what we lived that year and seeing that those people continue to suffer has been a doubly heartbreaking process, reliving the months when I thought they were going to kick in my door
“Having to relive what we lived that year and seeing that those those people continue to suffer has been a doubly heartbreaking process, reliving the months in which I thought they were going to kick in my door, as they did to many people in those days and to many who gave their testimony,” adds the screenwriter.
The documentary contains images of the 11J demonstrations taken with mobile phones and interviews with relatives of detainees, including those in San Antonio de los Baños, where the protest began.
“Behind so much suffering and pain, joy has to come, it’s our right,” one of the interviewees says in the promotion trailer.
“All this is accompanied by the process of creating graffiti that are scattered throughout the cities of Havana and Villa Clara that try to translate the testimonies,” says the screenwriter.
The documentary was premiered in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 30 in the framework of the sessions of the Universal Periodic Review
The documentary was premiered in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 30 in the framework of the sessions of the Universal Periodic Review, to which Cuba will be submitted on November 15 by the UN.
According to the latest count of Prisoners Defenders, at the end of September there were 1,052 political prisoners in Cuba, mostly people convicted as a result of their participation in the protests of 11 July 2021, the largest in the country in decades.
Since that date, Justice 11J has registered 1,862 people detained for political reasons, of which 911 have been tried and, for the most part, convicted.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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