SOY CUBA

Tonight it’s some avant garde soviet funded film-making from 1960’s Cuba. Friday it’s the Popular Pop Quiz, Sunday it’s Society Golf at Manning’s Heath.  If none of these strike your fancy keep checking out our webpage Nothing Ever Happens in Hassocks to get updates on future events we’re putting on during the year.

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So to tonight’s film offering.  Doors open at 7.15pm.

A film endorsed and sponsored by such luminaries as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, lost in time and reinvigorated in the 1990’s, and again in 2005.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about it

The movie consists of four distinct short stories about the suffering of the Cuban people and their reactions, varying from passive amazement in the first, to a guerrillamarch in the last. Between the stories, a female narrator (credited “The Voice of Cuba”) says such things as, “I am Cuba, the Cuba of the casinos, but also of the people.”

The first story (centered on the character Maria) shows the destitute Cuban masses contrasted with the splendor in the American-run gambling casinos. Maria lives in a shanty-town on the edge of Havana and hopes to get married to her fruit-seller boyfriend, Rene. She takes a job as a dancer in one of the bars filled with rich Americans. At these bars she is known as Betty. One night, one of the rich gentlemen at the club asks her if he can see where she lives. She takes him to her small hovel where she reluctantly undresses. The next morning he tosses her a few dollars and takes her most prized possession, her crucifix necklace. As he is about to leave Rene walks in, and sees his ashamed fiance. The American callously says, “Bye Betty!” as he makes his exit.

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The next story is about a farmer, Pedro, who just raised his biggest crop of sugar yet. However, his landlord rides up to the farm as he is harvesting his crops and tells him that he has sold the land that Pedro lives on to United Fruit, and Pedro and his family must leave immediately. Pedro asks what about the crops? The landowner says, “you raised them on my land. I’ll let you keep the sweat you put into growing them, but that is all,” and he rides off. Pedro lies to his children and tells them everything is fine. He gives them all the money he has and tells them to have a fun day in town. After they leave, he sets all of his crops and house on fire. He then dies from the smoke inhalation.

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The third story describes the suppression of rebellious students led by a character named Enrique at Havana University (featuring one of the longest camera shots). Enrique is frustrated with the small efforts of the group and wants to do something drastic. He goes off on his own planning on assassinating the chief of police, however when he gets him in his sights, he sees that the police chief is surrounded by his young children, and Enrique cannot bring himself to pull the trigger. While he is away, his fellow revolutionaries are printing flyers. They are infiltrated by police officers who arrest them. One of the revolutionaries begins throwing flyers out to the crowd below only to be shot by one of the police officers. Later on, Enrique is leading a protest at the university. More police are there to break up the crowd with fire hoses. Enrique is shot after the demonstration becomes a riot. At the end, his body is carried through the streets; he has become a martyr to his cause.

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The final part shows how Mariano, a typical farmer, ends up joining the rebels in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, ultimately leading to a triumphal march into Havana to proclaim the revolution.

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