The Story begins with the award of a $10,000 grant for three working artists/pedagogues to explore the uniquely Cuban Testimonial Literature. The goal being to create a piece of work paying homage to the genre of testimonial literature while exploring their own interests of Art, Politics, and the future of Cuba. The three begin the journey traveling through the Bahamas to get to Havana. They Journey begins in Nassau when the Director of the film meets a Cuban citizen living in exile. Recording a seemingly uneventful interview for the man's daughter sets in motion a cascade of cultural experiences none of the main characters could have imagined. Traversing the country the three heroes interview students and ex-revolutionaries, Rastafarians, and working class dissenters, most importantly they develop collaborative art projects and life-long relationships across the sea. Each day the travelers encounter new Cubans who offer their testimony and eventually illuminate the inherent cultural conflicts between Cuban artists and the American Artists. Can a shared love of the Arts bring together people with otherwise completely dissimilar lives? Can a filmmakers' craft bring together families that have been pulled apart for decades? What are the implications of our actions when we no longer look to create influence, but rather simply ride cresting waves and improbable currents? The film answers these questions as the artists do - the audience experiences the tribulations, the social and emotional growth of both the three American artists and the Cubans with whom they interact.
The film reaches it’s emotional climax when the filmmaker is able to share the video from the man in Nassau with his daughter and sister in Havana. The 27 yr old Marisol, who was first introduced as a tattoo on the inner lip of her father in a Nassau dive bar, sits in the flesh for the filmmaker, watching a video message from the man who abandoned her 14 years earlier. In anticipation of the return trip through Nassau the filmmaker records a message in response from Marisol, and at the end of the film courier’s the message via Apple ipad back to the same bar where the trip began nearly a month prior. This type of couriership of ideas, and messages is a uniqe need to Cuba. One of the few countries cut off from regular use of the internet, Skype, Google Voice, and other communication, Cuba is crying for their lost sons and daughters, and screaming hoping the world will hear this island condemned by the world and its idolatry.
A poignant exploration of the politics of modernity and the art of communication, Aqui en Cuba opens the door to an unknown Cuba and presents it to the audience with an invitation to join the journey.
This film includes a digital media project that connects travelers from the west with Cubans living in exile, in order to help Cubans living outside of the island reconnect with their families.
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