There are three documentaries featured in this year’s Miami Film Festival on Cuban musicians and their struggle for freedom through their art.
Documentaries at Miami Film Festival delve into Cuba’s voices heard through music
In the Cuba of the Revolution, culture has been an often brutally disputed battlefield. Creators make for unruly subjects and present autocrats and dictators with profound challenges and elusive targets. Guns and torture particularly don’t do well against music.
Three films at the 40th Annual Miami Film Festival, opening Friday, March 3 and continuing through Sunday, March 12 at various venues throughout the city, offer a view of the costs of those battles for some artists — irreparable might-have-beens, never-will-be’s, and exiles — and, implicitly, for the country — but also hope.
“AfroCuba ’78” (5:45 p.m., Saturday, March 4, at Silverspot Cinema, 300 SE 3rd Ave., Miami) tells the story of a once-promising jazz group, a never-released album, the breaking up of the original band, and the resulting scattering of some of its members.
“Bebo” (7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7, at Silverspot Cinema, 300 SE 3rd Ave., Miami; also streaming beginning noon, Monday, March 6) offers a view of the life in exile in Sweden of the pianist, arranger, and bandleader Bebo Valdés, a towering figure of the Golden Age of Cuban music. In disagreement with the path of the Revolution, he left the country in 1960. He died in Sweden in 2013 without ever returning to Cuba.
“Patria y Vida: The Power of Music” (5 p.m., Sunday, March 5, 6:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., Tuesday, March 7, at Silverspot Cinema, 300 SE 3rd Ave., Miami) documents the creation, impact, and consequences for those behind a song that exploded in Cuba through social media and became an anthem in the historic protests inside and outside the island on July of 2021.
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