Like every year the Festival of the New Latin American Cinema and reflections on creation on this continent. Cuba as the epicenter of a whole wave that for decades has led to Havana and that turns the inhabitants of the capital into spectators of the best, the most avant-garde and what sets trends.
Can cinema change history, can it be a weapon to question power structures? When the festival began, in fact, there was a full awareness that art has these functions, but today there are other visions. Postmodernity has made hedonism and beauty the primary sources of success. The merely ornamental assumes a value in itself and does not necessarily have to say something. Havana, with its constant changes and its tumultuous life, does not escape these logics.
We have seen, over the decades, how from a militant cinema, even reflective and political, Latin American creation has moved towards ways of saying that have more to do with the masters of current trends, more inscribed in the market, in what related to marketing and sales. The New Cinema of yesteryear may no longer be the paradigm of creators, just like the boom in literature it ceased to be a reference and today there is a much more heterogeneous production of books marked by globalization and the neoliberal world.
From the profoundly rebellious pieces of the cinema of the past, it goes to a form that privileges apparently everyday conflicts, linked to inconsequential people, to antiheroes who tell of their experiences on the margins of society. Cinema can no longer be called poor, because with the mobility of capital there have been ambitious productions on this continent, although not always successful, especially in the historical field. The rereadings in that order are more marked by moral, personal reflection, by the pain of being flesh and blood, than by collective and committed thought.
A few years ago, for example, you could see tapes like The dark side of the Heart, in which there is a reflection of the Latin from the south, with the pain and brightness that a poet can experience from this side. The important thing in history was not the political, but it was there. There was a big speech, a big story behind the little one. The same goes for tapes like No, in which the Chilean plebiscite against Pinochet is what sustains a plot of love and heartbreak of the protagonist. Today with creative postmodernity, films are more in the vein of privileging what is micro and discourses involving major causes are ignored. The New Cinema has mutated, it becomes more introspective, more inward. Even when there are epic themes, what is interesting is the human. There is a return to the drama and an abandonment of the epic. This, of course, does not mean that it is absolute. It is neither good nor bad. It is just a trend that may or may not subordinate the cinema of the continent to new ways of understanding it. But what should be a center in this type of festival is that they promote aesthetic values, human values, feelings of empathy and inclusion. Because there is a certain neoliberal cinema that is interested in erasing memories. Hence, Havana continues to be important. The capital unites us in the appreciation of the works and improves us as people, it prevents us from forgetting who we are.
A film like Roma, for example, narrates a family drama from a minimalist key. The social and the historical are far behind, they are glimpsed, outlined, but there is no emphasis, there is no scandal of denunciation. The pain is silent and comes from black and white, from the most unexpected shots and the few parliaments, the paucity of dramatic resources and daily life that flows and has the effect of a stream of consciousness, of a monologue of many characters. . That cinema that goes into America has the merit of not being silent, of speaking forcefully from the fragile, from the forgetful, from the erased memory of many declassed and suffering people on this continent. The family is in the foreground, but behind it we can see society and its nuances, criticism and its uses beyond the beauty of the plans or well-achieved photography. And it is that the cinema of this continent has to denounce, it has to shout or else it explodes and ceases to be.
Havana was the center of those creators when they were not allowed to shine within the industry, many projects were forged here. Cuba was the mecca of a rebellious thought that took the same from the new wave of French cinema as from Italian neorealism. From Solás to Titón, the films of the patio showed that with few resources a world can be moved. Although such a thing has been mutating, the essence should be the same, that of changing the universe through art or at least making life more bearable for everyone. The festival must tell us that the pain of the continent is shared and that among many we are going to give it an interpretation. Thus the problems of third worldism are less harsh, although they are still there.
The new cinema has to continue to be new in the sense of being groundbreaking, rebellious, rebellious and iconoclastic. In the vein of going beyond the simple display or sale of a product, profitability or fame. It is about saying, it is about going away from the canons of commercialization and giving us a much healthier air, a fresh renewing aroma that separates the darkness and that redeems the earth from its old pains. This tribute is paid to the memory of greats like Alfredo Guevara, making, filming, celebrating a festival like this. If the creators mutated towards postmodern ways, then that is a change that must be accepted, that must be had among us and that will generate other resonances in the denunciation and in the center of the debate.
The life of South America is in those projections, in those now dark and expectant rooms in which the authentic existence of the continent is going to be assumed from the shots, the sequences and the stories. There is much to tell, much to redeem and to bring to the fore. When the time of the Festival arrives, we will then see people entering the halls like going to a school. There, nothing will be in vain, but learning what is our own enriches us. This process makes us take ownership of our being and make our own destiny as a people.
The Festival of New Latin American Cinema is already being announced and although its presentation theme is well known, it always sounds up-to-date, everyday, endearing. The light has those reminiscences and those facilities, that redeeming nature.