Globe, Latin America

“The Sugar Curtain” in Cuba

With its suggestive name, this documentary, which is due to be screened on the 15th of June, is about the generation who grew up during the golden years of the revolution but later gave up hope.


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On the 1st of January 1959, with the collapse of the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship, Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. A revolution had begun and continues to this day, although it is now lead by Fidel’s brother, Raúl Castro.

Cuba was the first of the left-wing revolutions to triumph and was the most successful of all those that preceded it, and it remains in force today despite the fact that countries such as the United States maintain an economic embargo on the island.

The expectations raised by this revolution were so high that they were almost unachievable. Following this thought, “The Sugar Curtain” investigates a generation of Cubans who have already celebrated their 30th birthdays and who have left the island as a consequence of the political deadlock that has loomed over the country and destroyed the dreams of these children who were once taught that society should be fair, without inequality, and that money was not everything.

The film’s director Camila Guzmán, (daughter of documentary film maker Patricio Guzmán ) grew up and studied in Cuba, although she was born in Chile a few months before the coup d’etat by Augusto Pinochet.

Her family, like many others in the 70s, fled to Cuba in order to escape the dictatorships in Latin America at that time.

It is in fact Guzmán herself who provides the voice-over and who searches for her former school classmates who are nostalgic of the past and less than optimistic about the future.

“The Sugar Curtain”, which is being shown as part of the Latin American Cinema season organised by the Cervantes Institute, and will be screened on the 15th of June in the Cervantes Institute auditorium (102 Eaton Square, SW1W 9AN, London).

(Translated by Coleen Tumilty)

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