‘Santa And Andrés’ Under Revolutionary Vigilance / 14ymedio, Reinaldo
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 7 December 2016 — In the 38th
edition of Havana’s Festival of New Latin America Cinema, shining by its
absence is the Cuban film Santa y Andrés, by the filmmaker Carlos
Lechuga. Those responsible for its censorship certainly didn’t cross it
off the list without first consulting non-artistic entities such as the
organs of State Security and other custodians of the official dogma.
The controversy over the exclusion of the film has been unleashed on
social networks and in several digital spaces. Arguing against Lechuga’s
feature film are the voices tied to the “establishment,” who claim that
it distorts history and that the many errors committed in the cultural
field have been rectified. The defenders, for their part, laud the
artistic values of the film and assert that it cannot be considered
The Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) behaves
like an entity privately owned by the only political party permitted in
the country, and applies the resulting right of admission, an attitude
contradictory and unacceptable for an institution that is publicly
created as a representative the interests of the whole nation.
Many filmmakers act as if they believe that the ICAIC does not represent
the interests of power. This apparent naiveté gives them a right to feel
offended and surprised by the censorship imposed by the entity, like the
teenager who comes home late with the illusion of not being scolded by
her parents, who remind her of their right to search her belongings and
to prohibit her next outing.
As long as artists continue to respect and revere institutions without
directly questioning them, they will have to bow their heads and obey,
or ultimately they will have to leave the country.
Santa and Andrés was conceived and created independently as if
censorship did not exist, as if the stern father had softened and
tempered over the years. One way of putting strength to the test and
pushing the wall of prohibitions.
Regardless of its indisputable artistic values, Carlos Lechuga’s film
will be remembered as another occasion when the repressors of thought
were forced to take off their masks of good-naturedness. Cultural
authorities have again demonstrated the hardened face of an intolerant
patriarch showing his children who really holds the key to the house.
Source: ‘Santa And Andrés’ Under Revolutionary Vigilance / 14ymedio,
Reinaldo Escobar – Translating Cuba –