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Manuel Zayas: Rebeldes Con Causa
Cuba, 84 min, Spanish with English subtitles
Saturday, Mar 24, 2018 2:15 PM
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A remarkable pair of portraits by director Manuel Zayas - from inside the homeland - of maverick Cuban artists whose reputations have grown immensely after their deaths in exile. Seres extravagantes (Odd People Out) chronicles the persecution of homosexuals focusing on the life of novelist Reinaldo Arenas (El mundo alucinante [Hallucinations], Antes que anochezca [Before Night Falls]) and featuring interviews with his beloved mother and errant father. Café con leche tells the story of Cuba’s greatest documentary filmmaker, Nicolás Guillén Landrián, in his own words and images. A restless poet with a camera, his impassioned work did not fit the revolution’s designs and he was rewarded with imprisonment and shock treatment. In his suicide note, Arenas encouraged his countrymen to continue the pursuit of freedom: “Cuba will be free. I already am.” For his part, Guillén Landrián signed off his documentaries with “El fin, pero no es el fin” (The End, but it’s not the end). Indeed.