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Monday, April 2, 2018

In the land of someone who speaks without censorship

Por sumily

For Miguel Coyula, the vital thing is to generate alternative spaces that work as a way to protest against silence and that interest made him a reason for suspicion within the artistic community.

Censorship in the case of his latest film production, Nobody is, of course, the way in which the figure of Fidel Castro is addressed: without filters of any kind. Guided by the artist Alcides, who says what he thinks about the historical leader of the revolutionary movement in his country.

What moves Coyula are the contradictions. He is aware that the virtue of a work or of a contradictory character is to generate controversy.However, the filmmaker is aware that generating controversy brings an implicit price and is to remain completely alone. Then the most rewarding payment for him is to sleep every day with the awareness of having done what he wanted without bowing to any kind of ideology.

In the 1980s, Cuba had a generation of plastic artists respondents, which has now been seduced by the market while a considerable number of writers maintain an accomplice silence.

However, the independent Cuban cinema is struggling to earn a name and has no hairs on the tongue.And he has started this battle for recognition by reviewing the performance of Fidel Castro, from within the island and in the voice of one of his admirers, the poet Rafael Alcides.

The documentary Nadie, directed by Miguel Coyula with Alcides as a central figure, opens on Friday the 23rd at the Coral Gables Art Cinema the exhibition La fruta prohibida, a cycle of independent Cuban cinema in the 21st century.Alcides, as a fervent believer tells the anecdote of the prostitute that poor students visited in a neighborhood brothel in the 1950s. She could not stop charging them because she worked for others, but she could quote them to her house the next day to serve them in his free time.That is how Alcides came to know her more intimately and did not see her again until many years later. In the park in front of the pre-university Saúl Delgado, in Vedado, the writer meets her, and the old reformed harlot tells him that now she is a teacher of that pre-university.

The anecdote arises in the documentary to make known the faith that the writer had one day in the Revolution. The way in which he could transform the life of a prostitute left him shocked, but that the story seems to the spectator a repetition of a bad tale of socialist realism.However, you should not get carried away by certain principles. What follows is the certain way that Alcides has had to prosecute Fidel Castro, to the point that they prove that only those who are "nobody" can speak against power in Cuba.

Speaking to the Nuevo Herald, Coyula said that he has always been annoyed by the fact that Cuban artists and intellectuals residing in Cuba do not have the courage to criticize in the media the figure of politicians and in their view, it is important that as he can openly criticize Trump's actions, he can do so with the actions of Fidel or Raúl.

The director confesses that he has always been interested in the "displaced" as characters. In this case, he knows and admires Alcides since he was a child. The poet is the husband of his cousin, the independent journalist Regina Coyula, author of the blog Mala Letra.

Coyula, who accepted the challenge of making a feature film where the word had the greatest weight, said that at first, he was only looking for the word of Alcides, if we take into account his documentary history, they are always aimed at fiction, however, the difference on this occasion is marked by the interest of Coyula for the histrionics of Alcides.And Alcides' position is very reasoning, the contempt he feels for the figure of Fidel, although he remains a socialist, the confidence in the utopia of a system with social justice, where perhaps the closest are some Nordic countries.

And that, exactly, that romanticism is what calls my attention to the personality of Alcides and the fact that he is not interested in commercial literature.In 2017, an operative of the State Security prevented the projection of Nobody in the independent gallery El Círculo, whose curatorship is in charge of Lía Villares, who has been detained several times by the political police on the island.

What shows that when talking with a censored artist like Alcides, Coyula became one of them.Coyula does not expect all art to have political content. His short Psyche, which is also part of the exhibition, addresses the origin of the myth of Beauty and the Beast. As background to this reflection on art, the director chooses the paintings of Antonia Eiriz (1929-1995), another artist who has never been on the island.