En este momento estás viendo The Festival and Fidel’s ideas
Fidel, junto a Santiago Álvarez y Alfredo Guevara. Foto: Archivo de Granma

The Festival and Fidel’s ideas

«(…) this movement of the new cinema is a great battle, of enormous importance not only for our identity, but also for our liberation, our independence and our survival».

At the end of the 44th edition of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, after appreciating the resounding success in the quality of the works and the support of the Cuban public, many of us thought of Fidel, who advocated so much that the cultural dimension of this and other contests should tend to the configuration of a critical, anti-colonial, free, dignified, sovereign, anti-colonial thought of our America. The promoter and inspirer of the emergence of the New Latin American Cinema Foundation advocated emancipation from the emergence (and the inescapable visualization) of a rooted, identity-based seventh art, against the current of the hegemonic narrative and its discourse of legitimization of Western values.

When measuring the weight of these festivals, we must return, again and again, to it, philosopher’s stone in its gestation, development, results, yes; but also visionary in the discernment of the scope of an idea that goes far beyond the event, to establish itself in story and route, fact and results, in favor of the defense of our images and imaginary.

A lot could be analyzed about the Christmas action, a festival of all the people (as he wanted), reactivated, energized this year with positive vibes generating a spirit of confidence in its continuity and strengthening, but any hermeneutic attempt cannot ignore Fidel, promoter and exegete. And, in this sense, it should be remembered, read again his closing speech of the VII Festival, delivered 38 years ago, but with total validity today:

«And where is most of what we see, what we witness, what we enjoy or try to enjoy produced? It is not produced precisely in our countries, it is not produced in Latin America. Not only the airplanes that we have to buy to travel over the oceans or long distances, not only the computers, not only the infinity of equipment, merchandise and industrial products that are often luxury items of these consumer societies, but our cinema, our television, our culture, or our false culture, we are importing it! And so it is very painful, when some sociologists have done research on what young people know, or what children in Latin America know, and they find the horrifying fact that 70% or 80% of children know who Superman is, or any other character from those strips that are sent to us en masse, and they do not know who were the heroes that made the independence of their homelands possible!» In his opinion, «this war against the mind is even worse than the one they made with real viruses and bacteria; it is more humiliating, more degrading, more unbearable, more difficult to eradicate. In that sense, the New Latin American Cinema offers materials of another type, of another quality to the international community». Further on, he affirmed: » (…) this movement of the new cinema constitutes a great battle, of enormous transcendence not only for our identity, but also for our liberation, for our independence, for our survival. Because if we do not survive culturally, we will not survive either economically or politically».

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