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Screening the Cuban revolution

The film industry of the Caribbean country represents an alternative model of cinema. The struggle and achievements of the Cuban community in building socialism will be presented this November in a revolutionary film festival.


The Cuban film tradition is revolutionary both in its content and practices.

In March 1959, soon after the revolution, Castro established the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC, Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry). The ICAIC was created in order to produce, distribute and exhibit films and related audio-visual work following the Cuban Revolution.

Cuban cinema is still admired and emulated due to its innovations in format, technique and style which are influencing today’s generation of artists both inside and outside Cuba.

Films of this tradition are the representation of an alternative media industry that breaks with the cultural imperialism fostered by the United States through Hollywood.

For this reason, Rock Around the Blockade, together with the South London Revolutionary Communist Group are organising a “Revolutionary Cuba Film Festival”.

During the festival, a series of outstanding documentaries about the revolutionary island will be screened. It will be a day of celebration of the achievements in education, health and internationalism, and for women and the LGBTI community. “These films show the struggles and successes of a small blockaded island fighting to build socialism – and show that another world is possible”, the press office says.

During the day, five documentaries will be presented. Each film will cover themes related to education, health, internationalism LGBT and women’s rights.

The program of the festival includes areas in education, health, internationalism, LGTB and women.

One of the films is “Maestra” a work on the Cuban Revolution that sought to eliminate illiteracy with one of the world’s most ambitious literacy campaigns: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. The film interviews the women who helped transform society during the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign. Then,  “¡Salud!” looks at the 28,000 Cuban health professionals serving in 68 countries and explores the hearts and minds of the international medical students in Cuba – now numbering 30,000 including 100 from the US.

But the program also includes a very original work: “Cuba: an African Odyssey”
that tells the story in how between the 1960s and 1990s, Cuba was instrumental in lending support to a number of national liberation struggles across the African continent, fighting alongside African revolutionaries.

This film documents the legacy of the Cuban Revolution in Africa and its central role in the African people’s struggle against colonialism and imperialism.In the same way the festival will show a HBO documentary by award-winning directors Jon Alpert and Sheila Nevins that charts how Cuban Congresswoman Mariela Castro – daughter of Raúl and niece of Fidel Castro – confronts decades of homophobia to serve as a tireless champion of the rights of Cuba’s LGBTI community. The name of the work: “Mariela Castro’s march: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution”.

Finally, there is the documentary “Cubanas, mujeres en revolucion”, about the progress of Cuban women, from the oppressive pre-revolutionary days up to now, a film that never has been seen in the UK.

The Revolutionary Cuba Film Festival will take place on Sunday, 18 November, from 1 pm. to 11 pm., at The Montpelier, 43 Choumert Road, SE15 4AR London.

For further information, please visit Facebook event page.

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