14ymedio, 5 November 2016 — The Cuban filmmaker and theater director Juan Carlos Cremata decided to stay in Miami and become “one more exile,” according to the newspaper El Nuevo Herald.
Cremata had been censured for his production of El Rey Se Muere (in English known as “Exit the King” or “The King is Dying”), a work by Eugene Ionesco, staged in Cuba by the El Ingenio theater group in July of 2015, which officials of the Cuban Ministry of Culture took as an allusion to the former president Fidel Castro, and the play was shut down after two performances.
After the dissolution of the company and the ban on Cremata’s working in film or theater in Cuba, the artist wrote letters of protest that were widely reported in the international media.
Invited by the PEN Club of New York to participate in the World Voices Festival, Cremata, age 54, decided to remain in the United States.
“When I sensed that in Cuba I would not be permitted to even ‘shoot a pea,’” I decided not to return to the island,” the filmmaker told the Miami newspaper.
“Some officials pressured a few friends who were helping me not to do so. Without saying a word it was clear that that they would not let me do anything more,” said Cremata, who said it was clear that he would be confined to “a low profile, which is like a living death.”
“They condemned me to ‘not be’,” he explained.
“And if the Revolutionary slogan is simply ‘homeland or death,’ the most logical and reasonable is to seek a life elsewhere, even it starting from scratch.”
Cremata is planning to initiate an ambitious project called “Memories of Exile,” to be published on social networks. He also plans to bring to life the work El Encarne (The Incarnate), “the only musical written by Virgilio Piñera, which has never been produced.”
“Come what may, I intend to continue making Cuban culture. To reflect truthfully and to speak with propriety about the millions of stories generated in exile,’ said the artist.