News and Facts about Cuba

Critic or Commissar?

Critic or Commissar? / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, 30 May 2016 — A well-known film critic and staunch
enemy of Hollywood — someone with an affinity for plastic surgery and
black hair dye — is now taking on the role of political commissar. In
response to Cubans’ enthusiasm for US symbols, mainly flags, he has
proposed that every American flag that shows up in public should be
surrounded by a hundred Cuban flags.

Does he perhaps not realize that Cuban flags are made in , sold for
hard currency at inflated prices and, therefore, unaffordable for most
Cubans? Given a choice of how to spend a few convertible pesos, most
people would opt for a package of ground beef or some other essential
item over a flag.

As though that were not enough, he is now taking on the eighth
installment of Fast & Furious, which was recently being filmed in
Havana. He acknowledges that, while he has no interest in this kind of
movie, it will at least pay economic dividends to the Cuban government.

His preference for “landmark” films — principally those from Europe,
Asia or Africa — is well known. His analyses focus more on the political
and ideological content of a film rather than on cinematographic
qualities such as script, direction, performances, photography,
soundtrack, set design, editing and special effects. He has gone so far
as to say that Indian musicals (aren’t the majority of Indian movies
musicals?) are as good as any from Hollywood.

To him, Hollywood’s most important directors were Charley Chaplin, Orson
Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and other “imports,” ignoring the fact that the
United States itself is a country of immigrants (including Irish,
Italians, Russians, French, Arabs, Latins and Africans), which is quite
possibly the reason for its advancement and development. Though they may
exist, I do not know of any Sioux, Cheyenne, Seminole, Blackfoot or
Apache directors. But nor are there any Taino or Ciboney directors in
Cuba either.

Lately, it seems the critic has also taken on the role of political
commissar as a way of increasing his income. In difficult times,
multi-tasking is one way to survive.

Source: Critic or Commissar? / Fernando Dámaso – Translating Cuba –

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