jueves, 30 de noviembre de 2017

25 Hours' Review at Yale 2017.

As part of the Latino & Iberian Film Festival at Yale (LIFFY 2017), we all had the pleasure of viewing on the big screen “25 Horas”-the first fiction short film by the young Cuban filmmaker Carlos Barba Salva.  At film’s end, applause accompanied the world premiere of Barba’s film.
 
As a Cuban resident living abroad and having assimilated into another culture, I was surprised with the story told in the film-one closely resembling our real experiences as emigrants upon returning to our native country of Cuba.  Despite assimilating into another culture, we maintain unbreakable family ties.
 
Isabel Santos’ character is in all of us regardless of the character’s gender because as she speaks, acts and looks at her surroundings from our actual perspective, she does so with love and heartache. Above all, she never express what she’s actually thinking thus allowing her to truly represent all of us. In the end, we are amazed with her performance because, in actuality, the actress has always resided on the island and had not actually lived what she has been able deliver with her acting talent. And, although Hilda reminds us of her character Ana in "Lejanía", Isabel not only outdoes her own self with her performance, but she outdoes all of us Cubans who have adapted- or not adapted- to a new life abroad.
 
Enrique Pineda Barnet, with the character he gives life to in the short film, opens up our imagination to the infinite possibilities when it comes to viewing today's Cuba. The age of his character and his behavior summarizes the past and the present, but leaves us with the option of choosing how it ends, or rather, how the real future plays out in our current situation. We applaud our beloved father because of his capacity to open a range of feelings by awakening a sense of rejection, hatred, admiration, tenderness or love of country, with the gift of his presence before the camera.
 
Alicia Bustamante appears in a single scene of the film, but with her performance she is able to remind us of family and neighbors of the island, who always capture our attention and surprise us with their ability to adapt to a lifestyle that none of us can ever justify.
 
It’s always concerning when contemplating that we as Cubans are not always realistically represented in the celluloid and that our filmmakers might exclude our reality from the actual story.  Because what is not written, published, portrayed or filmed can be forgotten. That is why I am tempted to believe that this short film is a guarantee that our existence will be remembered when the present day becomes the past.
 
Congratulations to the director for creating this masterpiece. Given I have always been an admirer of his work, there is no need to ensure appreciation. The typical Cuban also automatically appreciates him for reminding the world that he or she exists.  What is significant is that on this occasion, he stopped being a young man utilizing his talent to recognize the virtues of other artists and their corresponding commitment as he had in previous documentaries and has instead become one of our young talented filmmakers.  With "25 Hours" he has proven that the best is yet to come because his ability to excel and continue to grow as an artist stands out in each shot of this release and leaves us anticipating what’s in store with his future films. In fact, Carlos has been able to prove that he is ready to bring the stories and experiences of Cubans to life in contemporary cinema.
 
Thank you, Carlos.  I wish you much success in the future!

Juan Gomez, New Haven, Ct, November 17, 2017.