Film on Cuba’s gay intolerance pulled from Havana festival
AFP December 8, 2016
Havana (AFP) – Drama spilled beyond movie plotlines and into real life
Thursday at the opening of a Latin American film festival in Havana,
where the authorities have excluded a movie touching on Cuba’s
intolerance toward gays under Fidel Castro.
They barred “Santa et Andres,” 33-year-old Cuban Carlos Lechuga’s second
full-length feature, from the International Festival of New Latin
American Cinema in Havana due to a “question of principle,” Cuban film
official Roberto Simth said.
“The film presents an image of the revolution that reduces it to an
expression of intolerance and violence against culture and makes
irresponsible use of our patriotic symbols and unacceptable references
toward comrade Fidel,” Smith — director of the all-powerful Cuban
Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) — said in a
The former Cuban leader and revolutionary icon Fidel Castro died last month.
The movie’s fictitious plotline was inspired by the lives of Cuban poet
Delfin Prats and other gay intellectuals such as Virgilio Pinera, who
were banned from publishing and displaying their work on the island
during a five-year period from 1971-1976.
The film’s exclusion provoked debate on social networks, where Smith and
Culture Vice-Minister Fernando Rojas exchanged heated words with Lechuga
and his supporters.
Lechuga, who defended his work calling himself a “patriot who lives and
works in Cuba,” declined to speak to AFP until after the festival’s end.
The competition opened Thursday with the screening of “The Illustrious
Citizen” (“El Cuidadano ilustre”) by Argentine directors Gaston Duprat
and Mariano Cohn Damian Szifron, whose film will compete against 17
others for the Grand Coral first prize.
Invitees include the American directors Oliver Stone, who will present
his latest film, “Snowden,” and Brian de Palma, organizers said.
Traditionally stigmatized in Cuba, homosexuality was fiercely repressed
for many years under the communist regime, which interned gays in work
camps in the 1960s and ostracized them in the 1970s.
Source: Film on Cuba’s gay intolerance pulled from Havana festival –