As you know, I love to promote projects by and for Cubans. In the month of September, I usually showcase the stories of Cuban exiles in my blog series, Cuando Sali de Cuba.
Our shared history is so compelling and our contributions and accomplishments are many and varied. The film, Cubamerican beautifully and artfully showcases the stories of many prominent Cubans. Their stories, like all of ours are filled with both unbearable sadness and unquenchable hope.
I had the privilege of seeing the film in a rough version last summer and I was blown away. This is a must-see, not just for Cubans, but for all lovers of liberty.
Here's an interview with José Enrique Pardo – Writer/Producer/ Director
Q: What spurred you to make this film?
A: My father’s death. After he passed away I felt like my connection to Cuba had died with him and I wanted to commemorate his experience and mine. I also wanted to provide a portal for my children and their children to remember the lives of their Cuban ancestors. As it turned out, making the film revived my Cubania. It was my father’s last gift to me.
Q: Of all the stories chronicled in Cubamerican which one is the most powerful to you?
A: All the stories are powerful, and though they share similarities they are all unique. Anytime one is forced into exile from one’s homeland, it is a tragedy. However, for me the stories of those characters who lost their parents and their families, who were never able to reunite with them, are the most compelling; they have an almost unbearable sadness.
Q: What would you like to see happen in Cuba?
A: The existence of a pluralistic democracy with free elections, which incorporates the philosophy of the American Declaration of Independence. Namely, that we are all created equal and are endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That government is necessary to secure those rights and derive their power from the consent of the citizenry not the military or a dictatorship. And that whenever any government abolishes or infringes upon those rights, as the Cuban government has done for so long, it is the right of the people to institute a new government that can effect their safety and happiness. None of this exists in Cuba today.
Q: What is the purpose of your film?
A: I hope that the purpose of my film is to bring all Cubans closer together. To show that hatred, force, and repression is evil and a curse on humanity and that it is forgiveness and compassion that bring us closer to the divine.
Q: What place do you think your film will occupy in Cuban history?
A: I don’t know if it will occupy a place in Cuban history I think it will occupy a place in Cuban-American history. My film presents Cuban history as background and explanation for the Cuban-American condition but it does not dwell on Cuba. More than anything else, my film shows the resiliency of the human spirit embodied in the characters of the film and the million more like them that risked everything for freedom and ultimately triumphed because of it.
Cubamerican will be showing beginning Friday, June 14th in Miami at The Tower Theater • 1508 Southwest 8th Street, Miami, Fl.
They have graciously offered to give away 4 sets of 2 tickets to the Friday, June 14th showing of the film to MBFCF readers. Of course, this is available only to my South Florida friends. (Don't hate.)
In order to enter the Cubamerican Ticket Giveaway, please leave a comment here on this blog and answer the following questions:
- What year did your family come to the U.S?
- What part of Cuba are you from?
Please go "like" the Cubamerican La Pelicula Facebook page for an extra entry and come back and leave another comment saying, "I like Cubamerican."
I'll choose the winners on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 at 11:00 AM PST.
About the Director:
José Enrique Pardo was born in Havana, Cuba, raised in Union City, New Jersey, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. He has written three novels (Dealing from Heaven, Leverage, Hurricanes) a collection of stories (Poised Upon the Precipice) and three screenplays (Persuasion, God’s Law and Feelanthropy). José Enrique has previously produced and directed two short films (Proposition, Birthday Boy}. Cubamerican is his first feature film.