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Films from the Cuba Media Project of the Americas Media Initiative
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The Cuba Media Project of the Americans Media Initiative provides an opportunity for audiences in the United States to have access to the work of independent Cuban filmmakers. These films have been made outside the traditional channels of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) or Cuban TV. As such, these films directly address the everyday concerns of Cubans today; the films present a critical perspective that challenges stereotypes around censorship and freedom of expression in Cuba.

Icarus films is proud to be the exclusive distributor of the Cuba Media Project’s growing collection of contemporary documentaries and short films from Cuba.


ALABBÁ - An exploration of the fascinating history of Santería.

A Bridge Over the River - Profiles Lency, a man who lives in Cuba's central mountains who has a creative solution to all of life's daily problems there.

Código Color, Memorias - An exploration of racism and skin color in Cuba during the 1950s.

Cuban Animations from the Young Directors Film Festival - Eight animated shorts from the most important showcase for young cinematic talent in Cuba.

Elena - Follows several residents in the “Elena” building, located in Central Havana, over a three-year period.

Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator - A documentary about Freddy Ilanga, an African man whose life was abruptly transformed through a chance encounter with Che Guevara.

The Infinite Island - In this doc-fiction hybrid, a peasant journeys through the Sierra Maestra to buy a new mule.

Major Leagues? - Profiles members of the Cuban National women's baseball team, who pursue their passion in a soceity filled with machismo and prejudice.

Masks - In the macho world of Cuban culture, Margot and Roxana stand out—they are two of the country's best-known drag queens.

New Comedy Shorts from Cuba - This DVD collects two recent comedy shorts from Cuba.

They Would All Be Queens - Tells the stories of several Soviet women who married Cuban men and moved to Cuba before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Tierralismo - A beautiful film about the Alamar “organiponico” (organic cooperative farm) located outside of Havana.

Zone of Silence - Five Cuban intellectuals discuss censorship as a historical, political and social phenomenon.

"It isn’t often that Cuban filmmakers get the opportunity to showcase their work in the United States. The Americas Media Initiative provides one of these rare opportunities. Cuba—not the diplomatic juggernaut familiar to US audiences, but rather its landscape and people—come to life in this collection: its landscape in the form of a silent man and his mule's forlorn crossing of the Sierra Maestra (The Infinite Island); its sports and gender issues (Major Leagues?) its politics in the voices of artists, authors and musicians (Zone of Silence); its Afro-Caribbean religious practices (ALAbbá).

"These films introduce the viewers to compelling and profound characters, emblematic of life in Cuba when the iconoclasm fades back and allows daily life to run its course. We thus meet Lency, a rural Cuban McGyver whose ingenuity knows no limits (A Bridge Over the River), and Freddy Ilanga, a retired neurosurgeon born and raised in Africa, and brought to Cuba after serving as Che's Swahili translator in the era of Cuban support for Congolese rebels (Freddy Llanga: Che’s Swahili Translator). Freddy's story, as well as those of Russian and Eastern European women spirited from the Soviet Union to Cuba by their love for visiting Cuban students (They Would All be Queens), showcase the particular 'intermestizaje' brought about by Cuba's unique political trajectory in the twentieth century."
—Julia Sweig, Nelson & David Rockefeller Senior Fellow and Director, Latin America Studies and Global Brazil Initiative Council on Foreign Relations


Related Titles:
First Look: The first ever U.S. exhibit of revolutionary Cuba's art.

Machito: The Cuban band leader Frank "Machito" Grillo.

The Night of San Lazaro: Cuba's most important parade pays homage to San Lazaro. For some, he is the healer saint, for others an African divinity.

The Sugar Curtain: An intimate portrait by Camila Guzmán Urzúa about growing up in Cuba during the "golden years" of the Cuban Revolution.

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Last Updated March 28, 2014
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