MUSIC FANS: Note the showing of ESO QUE ANDA, winding up the fest late on Saturday. A documentary about the Cuban supergroup Los Van Van, brought to Toronto last fall by Okokan.
Here’s a good place to say how amazing it has been that Toronto has benefited from Okokan bringing Los Van Van… several times… not to mention all the other great Cuban bands they have brought for us to enjoy.
It’s not cheap flying 18 musicians, keeping them in the lifestyle they expect, and making the show happen… in spite of all the inevitable issues and problems.
When these bands are in Europe, the expensive flight and visa problems are written off over many concerts in big venues.
In Canada, there may be more than 1 concert. But it’s only the Toronto show that has a chance to make money. Most often, even Toronto doesn’t turn a profit… no Corporate sponsors to be found for this great music.
Now when many entrepreneurs have given up bringing in Cuban bands… daunted by the cost of moving these huge bands, with their unique visa issues…
… Okokan has kept the Cuban flag waving regularly in Toronto. NO compromise, the full band… the full timba blast on stages right here at home.
Millionaires like Conrad Black won’t give a penny to benefit Toronto, so give thanks that ordinary people like Sophie and Juan Carlos dig deep, lose money more often than not… just to see it happen here.
Anyway, here are the film details… all screenings at the Royal on College St… all films are FREE.
Our Program *all films in Spanish with English subtitles*
by Daniel Diaz Torres y Eduardo del Llano (2009) In Veredas, an imaginary town in the Cuba of the early 70’s, Soviet missiles are hidden. Two young men, Sergio and Aurelio, are in dispute over Lisanka’s love, the most beautiful and sought-after girl in town. The Missile Crisis is about to begin and a Group of Soviet soldiers arrive in town, among them Volodia, who becomes a dangerous rival for Sergio and Aurelio. The daily life in town, as well as Lisanka’s, are inevitably changed by the events.
by Fina Torres (2010)
Prakriti Maduro plays Eva, a free-spirited seamstress full of innocence, mischief and passion. When a wealthy photographer comes into town and offers her a large sum of money to be his tour-guide it complicates things between Eva and her soon-to-be-husband and she has to come to terms with what she really wants out of life. The film is directed by Fina Torres (Women On Top) and features a solid supporting cast with Yuliet Cruz, Juan Carlos Garcia and Carlos Enrique Almirante.Habana Eva is delightfully
funny, with a dash of magical realism and ode to the beauty of Cuba.
Saturday February 5th
Alicia Alonso: Orbit of a Legend
by Jose Ramon Neyra (2010) A documentary of the legendary Alicia Alonso, celebrating 90 years of incredible dance, history and accomplishment. This film will appeal to an audience of all ages as it takes you through the life of the prima ballerina and the wonders of the National Ballet of Cuba.
by Enrique Pineda Barnet (2009) A separated family, a will, a magical city. They are united by their differences. Havana, 2006: Amalia, an spiritualist elder women, just became a widow. She resides in the smallest apartment, on the last floor of the oldest building, of the most historically old corner in the Vedado District. She lives with Cristobal, her 10 year old grandson, and her
youngest son, Mayito. Amalia brings the family together in order to read them the testament of her late husband, Octavio. Her children: Ricardo, a revolutionary engineer who lives and works in a Humble little town of Provincia; Margarita an architect residing in the USA where she has her own family; and Mayito, a bohemian musician and poet. They live in separate worlds. The family reunion serves to tell the stories of their lives.
¿Quién Soy Yo? The Found Children of Argentina
by Estela Bravo (2007) Eighty eight young orphans of Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976-1983) solve their questions: “Who am I? Are my parents amongst the Disappeared?”. The film tells the stories of children and youth who work with the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo to regain a true identity. It also presents the gripping trials that followed, which probe crimes against humanity committed by the oppressors (including the trafficking of newborns).
by Ernesto Daranas (2009) Laura is a university professor who is preparing her masters thesis on a famous Cuban procurer, Alberto Yarini and Ponce de León, who was assassinated by gunfire. In one of Havana’s cult houses exists the handkerchief used by one of Yarini’s prostitutes to stop the bleeding of her pimp in 1910 when he was shot. She sets out to make a comparative
study between the DNA in the dry blood on the handkerchief and that of Yanini’s remains. On the other hand, Alberto and Sandra talk about youth marked by its social environment. She has just been released from jail; he has just arrived from Paris in the dawn of his career as a gigolo. After two years of distance, when their lives meet again, Rosendo, a feared procurer, owner of Yanini’s handkerchief, becomes an insurmountable obstacle between them. Right in the middle of this confrontation is Laura, who finds that the dark world in which she has step in will turn against her.
by Ian Padron (2009) The recent documentary film makes a summary of the history in four decades of work from the testimonies of its members: the musicians who belonged and those gone but “who are still Van Van.” The documentary exploits all the spice and rhythm of Van Van; it could not be any another way if we are mentioning Cuba’s greatest band. You feel like rushing out to dance after watching this documentary film. With the participation of one million people during their most recent Cuban tour, Los Van Van celebrate the past 40 years.