Sometimes being Cuban feels like being split in two — a Diaspora of loved ones scattered and separated by geopolitics and economic strife. Now two new films explore the emotional core of this experience: one about a immigrant missing home, and another about Cubans debating whether to leave the island they love. Both have been making the rounds on the film circuit to much acclaim, with recent features at the Third Horizon Film Festival in Miami. Be sure to bookmark these films for a festival near you.
Director and Producer: Juan Pablo Daranas Molina
Life can feel so overwhelming for those striking out in a new country. This moving short film explores this dynamic through Angela, a young immigrant from Cuba, seeking a new start in New York. The story follows her through the Big Apple as she struggles to find a job, while trying to overcome loneliness and longing for her family back home. New York-based filmmaker Juan Pablo Daranas Molina directed the film and wrote the script with actress and director Idalmis García. Molina is also part of the inventive Cuban-American production group, Fila20. The short also played under the short film catalog at the famed Cannes Film Festival and at the prestigious Glasgow Film Festival in Scotland.
Voices of the Sea
Directed by Kim Hopkins
The decision to leave your homeland proves emotionally fraught for Cuban migrants, with the deep knowledge that they may never return. A new feature documentary Voices of the Sea/Voces del Mar explores this decision, following a family living in the poor but close-knit fishing village of Cajio Beach. Mariela, a young mother of four, longs for a better life in America, while her older husband Pita wants to stay in the village that he’s called home his whole life. The tension between the couple—one desperate to leave, the other content to stay—builds into a high stakes family drama after her brother and the couple’s neighbors escape. Directed by British filmmaker Kim Hopkins, the documentary played at film festivals around the world. PBS stations and web platforms across the country will also broadcast this film, as a co-production of American Documentary/POV and ITVS.