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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Russkiy Mir Cinema Club: Mikhail Kalatozov’s I am Cuba / Soy Cuba / Я – Куба(1964)

10th February 2016, 18:30, Russkiy Mir Centre, A29, Elvet Riverside I, Durham University

"Don't avert your eyes. Look! I am Cuba. For you, I am the casino, the bar, hotels and brothels. But the hands of these children and old people are also me." - Yevgeni Yevtushenko

On Wednesday, 10 February, the Russkiy Mir Centre will host a talk on and a special screening of Soy Cuba (1964), Mikhail Kalatozov’s epic cinematographic narrative about the lives of Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

Initiated by the Soviet government as a propaganda project to celebrate the Cuban revolution, the film was not received well by the Party as too much ‘art for art’ and too little ‘film for people’. It was completely forgotten for almost 30 years, until the early 1990s, when it was re-discovered and restored by the US film-makers, Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola.

Photographed in black and white by Sergei Urusevsky, using acrobatic camerawork by Alexandr Kalzaty and accompanied by the narrative written by Yevgeni Yevtushenko, Soy Cuba presents an outstanding example of balance between ‘politics and poetry’, which creates a ‘unique, insane, exhilarating spectacle’ (Wilhelm).

The film will be introduced by Dr. Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián, lecturer in Hispanic Studies, MLAC, whose research focuses, among other things, on the visual representations of the Caribbean and the Canary Islands, especially in photography and film.

The event will take place at 6.30pm in the Russkiy Mir Centre (Elvet Riverside 1). The film will be demonstrated in Spanish with English subtitles.

Contact dusan.radunovic@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.