Tuesday, November 10, 2015


By Sergio Giral
Commonly racism and racial prejudice are result slavery and colonial power. I yet in modern world it’s possible to find it among the most developed societies.  Let’s take for an example United State long history on racism against the African descendant. Without the intention of making an overview on a subject who any civilized person knows nowadays, it’s simply to remind it. United State no matter what racist law may appear on his constitution or presidential periods, achieved to have an African-American president; that tells all. Nevertheless the racial situation in Cuba has a long very shameful saga. Without the intention, once more time, of telling historical facts beyond my films on the subject and any civilized and cultured person may know, I feel the need to approach Black Cubans in Cuba and in exiled.
Today the Cuba government struggle to survive out of an economical and social crisis, result of Soviet Union collapse and the paranoid megalomaniac Fidel Castro’s regime. Day after day flirt with United State searching for new currents to modify anti Castro laws or at least to put a band aid on internal unrest. Things have change since those days when a regular Cuban couldn’t visit Miami to see his or her mother die or just to receive an award or to collect any copyright charge. Since then, many things have change. Today a new immigration law for Cubans allows a five years visa and to remain in USA or six months on each travel. Good for Cubans whenever they are.
Because a regular Cuban family in Cuba lacks on the elemental resources to survive beyond what the regime offers them or what  they can achieve in a complicated and absurd parallel economy, which may include prostitution and or any other estimated bad choices, Miami seems to be a key dream for solution. Maybe it’s right to show the oppressed Cubans what a democracy can offer to any simple citizen by coming to United State, to watch how American have an Afro descendant president, a millionaire Black woman like Ophra and how one of the most successful celebrities like Kardashian marries a black man. That’s not the problem; the problem is what is happening in Cuba with the Black population nowadays and what it’s going to happen someday after the Castro regime falls.  Have you ever thought of that?
In few of my previous post I had expressed my ideas and consideration about the subject “Regardless the Cuban government promised social achievements such as free education and free health care, Cuba continuously fall down into economic crisis lower down white middle class into the traditional Black population economical status, creating a false impression of an egalitarian society. Cubans living under a totalitarian have developed a system of survival for their physical and psychological needs according to what restrictions are imposed the State. Consider well the Black population”.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


In 1959, one of the first acts introduced by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba was the establishment of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) which promoted the development of the arts and cinema on the island. State sponsorship opened the door to filmmakers and provided entertainment for the population. However, such good intentions on the part of the Revolution meant sacrifices for the artists.
After the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Castro's Revolution became socialist and the Communist ideology began to rule the nation. Disagreements between groups of artists and intellectuals with the Government generated an ideological opposition that ended in 1962 with the First Educational and Cultural Congress. At this convention, Fidel Castro defined his political policy towards artists and intellectuals: "With the Revolution, everything...against the Revolution, nothing". This dogmatic dictatorial statement forcibly removed from the game all those who had differing opinions about the cultural program as well as those who were non-committal. Many liberal artists where condemned to silence, while others were forced to seek asylum. The most unfortunate ended up in prison.
A militant cinema was made to promote the Revolution and the advantages of the Socialist system. Cuban films were shown in the most remote places of the island and the people received them with great pleasure. Other Latin American filmmakers, inspired by the Cuban cinema, spread a trend of political documentaries. Cuban cinema turned into an ideological weapon for leftist liberation movements around the world while becoming a frequent winner of international awards.
An extremist government position appeared in the mid-1960's and focused upon those artists and intellectuals who were not considered favorable to the system. Many of them were persecuted as "anti-social elitists" and were forced into labor camps known as UMAP (Military Unit Production Aid).
After this persecution, filmmakers residing in Cuba became more cautious, fulfilling the government's artistic and cultural requirements. Nevertheless, many of their works were gradually affected by censorship. Many scripts were re-written and films re-edited or simply banned or confiscated. As a result of these curbs, three generations of filmmakers abandoned the country seeking freedom of speech abroad. Yet they left a broken image behind, an interrupted flow of creativity which some were able to rescue but others were not.
The Broken Image is a 46 minute documentary film that gathers the most representative exiled Cuban filmmakers, who will recount their personal experiences about having to abandon their work and start a new life away from their country, culture and natural environment. They will also express their ideas on filmmaking in a free context, as well as in a repressive society.
The Broken Image will develop as a journey that will take the viewer from past memories into the present, re-establishing the identity of those filmmakers in exile. This documentary film will exhibit an overview of that fragmented image before it is forgotten or sadly disappears.
Interviews with the participants from the cities where they now live, will let us know about their dreams and realities. Rescued clips of their films and photographs will stand as vivid examples of their lives and cinematography.
The Broken Image aspires to be a tribute to all those who wanted to create a cinema free of dogmatism and suffered of silence and intolerance.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Por Sergio Giral
A lo largo de la historia de la humanidad es comprobable el deslumbramiento por todo lo nuevo, lo que cambia  y parece ser diferente. Esa exaltación del intelecto y los sentidos resulta inexplicable para aquellos que por mucho tiempo han permanecido en guardia sobre lo que merece atención y aquellos que han sufrido algún tipo de escarnio, digamos de forma cursi, en carne propia. Una vez visitando en campo de concentración y exterminio de Buchenwald en Weimar, Alemania, presencia un grupo de visitantes de tercera edad depositando flores junto a un monumento y pregunté. Se me explicó que se trataba de sobrevivientes del campo que ofrecían tributo a sus familiares desaparecidos en el holocausto de ese lugar.  Desconozco si familiares de desaparecidos en las estepas siberianas regresaron en busca de algún recuerdo familiar o memorizar la condena de la subversión.   Todos salvos y sanos y pensé que a pesar del sufrimiento padecido el ser humano es capaz de seguir viviendo y regresar al lugar de los hechos. Otros que en realidad solo fueron saltimbanquis de algún régimen opresor, regresan entusiasmado por los nuevos aires, creyendo que sus desavenencias, conocida o no, serán perdonadas u olvidadas por los señores del yunque. Algunos, animados por la innovación, se lanzan a nuevas experiencias en campos una vez minado para ellos, esperando la complacencia y el perdón monástico. También están los filibusteros, tránsfugas y buscadores de oro. Y creo que los peores son los inconscientes, los que nunca supieron, a los que nunca les interesó, los que nunca tomaron en serio la posibilidad de regresar bajo cualquier nuevo orden, cualquier nuevo combate.  Los visitantes al campo de concentración y exterminio de Buchenwald en Weimar, Alemania, no habían olvidado lo padecido por ellos y sus seres queridos, es por eso que regresaban a poner flores. Los demás son turistas de paso, titiriteros de mala muerte, starlettes y ególatras que necesitan de un nuevo escenario donde la memoria haya sido borrada.    

Friday, January 16, 2015

By Sergio Giral

For more than a lustrum the Castro regime has generated a consistent opponent dissident movement, many of its members have been killed in front of the firing squad and their names have remained anonymous; others have suffered imprisonment and abuse for decades. Each new opposition voice has been stifled and repressed behind the bars of a jail or beating, spitted and dragged through the streets of the cities. These men and women who have paid the price of rebellion have a name and a story.                                                                                                                                    
Pedro Luis Boitel Abraham, prisoner of conscience who held a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment received in the capital's prison El Castillo del Principe. Boitel was denied medical care despite personalities from exile and human rights organizations sent cables to the Human Rights Commission of the UN and the International Red Cross so that saved his life. His immolation concluded 53 days after he began their protest. It was the death that put an end on 24 May 1972.                                      
On March 15, 1990, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez aka Antúnez, made a political harangue against the interests of the people and the state, demanding reforms like those made in Eastern Europe. Antunez was arrested by members of the National Police and taken to the Department of State Security where he was instructed on enemy propaganda and sent to prison on June 15, 1990. Under physical and mental torture Antunez did not abandon his ideal and continued to advocate for the cessation of persecution and imprisonment of human rights activists and the urgent process of radical political and social reforms. Antunez was released in April 2007 after 17 years and 38 days of political imprisonment.                                                      
During the Black Spring in 2003, the Cuban government arrested 75 human rights defenders and independent journalists accusing them of "acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state, illegal organizations accepting money from the United States Interest Section in Havana and of terrorist activities. Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a Cuban Mason and member of the Alternative Republican Movement National Civic Resistance Committee, was one of activists arrested and sentenced to three years for contempt, public disorder and later increased to 36 years convicted of acts of defiance in prison. He stopped eating foods on December 3 to protest against the repeated beatings he suffered by guards and other abuses.  On February 2010, he died in prison after fasting for more than 80 days.  
   Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a physician president of of the Lawton Foundation for  Human Rights is one of the 75 dissidents imprisoned in 2003 by the Cuban authorities.. Biscet was violently arrested and beaten while discussing a petition of Human Rights with 16 other dissidents, condemned to 25 years sentence for "counter-revolutionary activities" and being kept in an infrahuman prison cell and finally freed in 2011.     From 2005 to today, 97 documented deaths of prisoners in Cuba have resulted from hunger strike, killings by guards, alleged suicides, and lack of medical care in protest of prison conditions under the Castro regime.
 Guillermo Fariñas, an independent journalist who has been involved in a peaceful campaign for freedom of expression in Cuba, started a hunger strike that lasted 4 months calling for the release of prisoners of conscience. Fariñas was awarded the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament.                                                                                             
Ladies in White are spouses, mothers and daughters of those men and women who have been arrested for exerting the freedom of expression and to obtain the Human Righs in Cuba. For their political integrity Ladies in White were awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of thought in 2005. Opposite to this recognition mobs have attacked the Ladies in White, yelling insults at them and assisting the police to throw them into police buses. Laura Pollán who founded the dissident group after her husband was jailed in a 2003, died on 2011. Berta Soler substituted Pollan in the leading of this courageous movement. 
  Many are the resources to the method, many slogans and new voices are rising with righteous demands to achieve the Humans Rights, but do not to relegate these pages of value enrolling the names of brave Cubans who have sacrificed their freedom and their lives and those who continue fighting for human rights and democracy in Cuba.   

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


 «Se descubrió que un hombre había planeado incendiar el templo de Diana en Éfeso, de tal modo que por la destrucción del más bello de los edificios su nombre sería conocido en el mundo entero». Valerio Máximo: