Cuba: 50 Years of Revolution

Between 27th January and 27th February Rich Mix puts together a selection of films + photography to explore the recent history of Cuba, taking a look at the island 50 years after its Revolution.

Films: CUBA – 50 YEARS

A film selection that complements Cuban Stories Photography exhibition at Rich Mix: three films, offering three different views on the Cuban Revolution. Soy Cuba, a Soviet masterpiece by Mikhail Kalatozov (The Cranes are Flying) following the Cuban access to communism, will be followed by Those Who Left Us and Los Marielitos, two documentaries describing the lives of Cuban exiles now living in the US.

Soy Cuba
Sun 31 Jan / 2pm / Screen 3 / £5
Dir: Mikhail Kalatozov
1964/Soviet Union and Cuba/141min/cert PG
Starring: Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, José Gallardo

Soy Cuba charts the rise of the Cuban Revolution giving us four stories: a mistreated prostitute, a farmer in dispute with a greedy landowner, student revolutionaries, and the rallying of Castro’s forces in the hills.

Four vignettes in Batista’s Cuba dramatize the need for revolution; long, mobile shots tell almost wordless stories. In Havana, Maria faces shame when a man who fancies her discovers how she earns her living. Pedro, an ageing peasant, is summarily told that the land he farms has been sold to United Fruit. A university student faces down a crowd of swaggering U.S. sailors and then watches friends shot by police when they try to distribute a pro-Castro leaflet.

Those Who Left Us
Sun 7 Feb / 2pm / Screen 3 / £5
Dir: Estela Bravo, 1980, US, 58mins

This award-winning documentary follows Cubans who left their country at the beginning of the Revolution, and who are now living in the United States. It reveals the inside story of the exodus of unaccompanied Cuban children.

Los Marielitos
Sun 14 Feb / 2pm / Screen 2 / £5
Dir: Estela bravo, 1983, US, 57mins

This film is about those Cubans who left the island in 1980 from the port of Mariel. After two years of living in the United States, they compare their former lives with their new ones.

Visual Arts: CUBAN STORIES

by Angel Gil, Helena Smith and Claire Boobbyer
Wed 27 Jan – Sun 27 Feb / Mezzanine / Free

Three photographers come together to celebrate and explore life in Cuba, from its resilient, creative people to its painted propaganda, crumbling architecture and vibrant streetlife.

Angel explores the relationship between people and place. We follow 27-year-old Michel Palacio Colina as he discovers a passion for rearing and training messenger pigeons for racing, and finds his peace within the hustle and bustle of Cuban life.

Helena’s black and white images capture the Cuba of 2009, 50 years on from the Revolution, with reportage-style portraits and cinematic street scenes.

Claire recently made a 5000-kilometre road trip round Cuba, in the process capturing striking propaganda images that adorn walls, billboards, workplaces and roadside hoardings across the cities and fields.

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