LAZNIA 1 2013 - About Cuba, politically - screenings
22-23 May 2013, at 6 PM
Laznia CCA, Gdańsk, ul.Jaskółcza 1, GDAŃSK - DOLNE MIASTO
24-26 maja 2013, godz. 18.00
The Political Critique in Gdansk, ul. Nowe Ogrody 35, GDAŃSK - ŚRÓDMIEŚCIE
Curator: Madeleine Navarro Mena
The selection includes the films and documentaries which are crucial to enhance the understanding of the last 53 years of Cuban history. The chosen works, like the documentary PM, focus on the aspects of Cuban reality that have been generally ignored and remain unknown to the Polish public. We will offer a different image of Cuba and help to build the non-stereotypical perception of this country that is directly at odds with the phenomenon of Buena Vista Social Club.
The screening is a part of an exhibition „Politics: I don`t like it, but it likes me”, which was inspired by the line from a lyrics of a song of Cuban group „Porno para Ricardo”. The exhibition analyses issues concerning Cuban, Polish and Spanish transition in their social processes, inward and outward identity construction and representation in this context of (displacement-Diaspora) where Capitalism has become the only system.
The exhibition is presented in the framework of a long-term project entitled Cities On The Edge, in which the ‘edgy’ position of Gdańsk is explored. The work’s point of departure is the dual meaning of ‘edgy’, it both describes contemporary culture and the states of many contemporary cities being.
22 May 2013, at 6 PM Laznia CCA meeting with curators and screenings:
1) P.M. (1961) documentary short, 14 min, directors: Alberto "Sabá" Cabrera Infante y Orlando Jiménez Leal
PM. The most commented movie in the history of Cuban cinema. A short film of 14 minutes that describes the modes of entertainment by a group of individuals during a night in la Habana. Made in 1961, it caused the indignation of Fidel Castro and led to the wave of repression against everything that ''insulted'' the taste of el Comandante.
P.M. - movie still, courtesy the artist
2) Balseros (2002) documentary, 120 min, directors: Carles Bosch y Josep Maria Domènech; with English subtitles.
Balseros” is a unique production. In the summer of 1994, a crew of television reporters filmed and interviewed seven Cubans with their relatives a few days before their risky adventure. Setting out to sea in home-made rafts they attempt to flee from the economic difficulties that are devastating their country to reach the coast of the Unites States... The crew then catches-up with survivors rescued at high sea, who are later sent to Guantánamo - a North American Base and Refugee Camp. Seven years later we discover the outcome of their new lives in the United States. This is a true story about some of the authentic survivors of our times. The epic adventure of castaways caught between two worlds.
Nominated for an Academy award 2004
Winner of an Emmy for Cinematography by Josep Maria Domènech (Best Photography), 2005
Balseros - movie poster, courtesy the artist
23 May 2013, at 6 PM Laznia CCA:
3) Alamar Express: El Hombre Nuevo (2007), documentary, 57 min, director: Patrycja Satora
"Alamar Express. El Hombre Nuevo" documents the story of a group of young Cuban artists striving to create a space for cultural expression in one of Havana's sprawling suburban wastelands. Their community of Alamar, a Soviet relic of the 1960s, was born out of the failed utilitarian concept of a "model city", and their people out of the revolutionary ideal of the New Man. 
By seeking a future in a country where time stands still, these young artists struggle to transform the cultural desert of Alamar.
Alamar Express: El Hombre Nuevo - movie poster, courtesy the artist
24 May 2013 at 6 PM, The Political Critique in Gdansk:
4) El porvenir de una ilusión (1998), documentary, 51 min, director Franco de Peña
A portrait of `El Porvenir De Una Ilusion', an old street in Havana, Cuba. New Year’s Eve is a moment when 7 of main characters decide on what they desire to change in their lives. Story on a borderline of documentary and fiction speaks the language of magical realism. It is not a movie about Cuba, it a movie about humanity.
25 May 2013 at 6 PM, The Political Critique in Gdansk:
5) Seres extravagantes (2004), documentary, 55 min, director: Manuel Zayas; with English subtitles
Documentary about the process of marginalization, repression and denial of the gay community during the first two decades of the Cuban Revolution, through the eyes and voice of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. A counterpoint to the fictional Before Night Falls, Odd People Out constructs a kaleidoscopic depiction of Reinaldo's life and of the Cuban gay community before and after the revolution. A unique testimony of a unique time and a unique artist, it combines rare archival material with contemporary footage clandestinely shot in Cuba.
Seres extravagantes - movie still, courtesy the artist
26 May 2013 at 6 PM, , The Political Critique in Gdansk:
6) The Illusion (2009), documentary short, 24 min., director: Susana Barriga; with English subtitles.
After 26 years of picturing her father in her imagination, Susana travels from Cuba to England to see him for the first time in her life. Now, she tries to recall his face, but all she has are a few hazy images, secretly recorded with her camera, and the wish to regain the illusion that existed before she met him.
Winner of a DAAD scholarship to Germany at the 2009 Berlinale
7) El futuro es hoy (2009), documentary, 35 min, director: Sandra Gómez; with English subtitles.
Life in Havana, suspended in a state of waiting.
Seven characters express their complementary yet contradictory ideas. Some would like things to carry on as they are, while others hope for change. In one form or another, the characters are all associated with the Malecón, Havana’s sea wall, where the city opens out to the horizon.
Madeleine Navarro Mena, born in Ranchuelo, Cuba in 1968. In 1986-1991 studied at Facultad de Artes y Letras in the University of Havana. Post-graduate studies 1994-1997 in the Institute of Art History of Warsaw University. Research area : “The traits and influences of Latin American art in the Polish art of the XXth century. Polish artists in the Diaspora of Latin America”.
She has been studying Latin American films and documentaries for the last ten years. Maintains frequent collaboration with Instituto Cervantes in Warsaw on several projects mainly related to this topic. Lives and works in Warsaw.
Municipal Institution of Culture