Free Havana / Odd people Out

Free Havana / Odd people Out


Program: Documentary

With its reputation for repression, Cuba has never been an easy place for homosexuals to live, thrive and feel secure — nor a place where documentaries about them are often made.
An insider’s view, Free Havana explores both past and present experiences of various members of the Cuban gay community. After decades of persecution, including forced work camps for homosexuals considered incapable of military service, the 1979 Cuban Penal Code no longer punished homosexual acts, But this doesn’t keep some of the film’s subjects, interviewed decades later, from keeping their identities hidden on-screen. Nor does it diminish the pain of the stories they have to tell about growing up gay and Cuban.
The work of the late gay Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas was marked by his disillusionment with the political systems under which he lived: first with the forgotten promises of Castro’s revolution in Cuba and then with America’s soulless obsession with money during his forced exile to New York. Odd People Out delves into Arenas’s unusual and tragic persona, first portrayed on the big screen by Javier Bardem iWith its reputation for repression, Cuba has never been an easy place for homosexuals to live, thrive and feel secure — nor a place where documentaries about them are often made.
An insider’s view, Free Havana explores both past and present experiences of various members of the Cuban gay community. After decades of persecution, including forced work camps for homosexuals considered incapable of military service, the 1979 Cuban Penal Code no longer punished homosexual acts, But this doesn’t keep some of the film’s subjects, interviewed decades later, from keeping their identities hidden on-screen. Nor does it diminish the pain of the stories they have to tell about growing up gay and Cuban.
The work of the late gay Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas was marked by his disillusionment with the political systems under which he lived: first with the forgotten promises of Castro’s revolution in Cuba and then with America’s soulless obsession with money during his forced exile to New York. Odd People Out delves into Arenas’s unusual and tragic persona, first portrayed on the big screen by Javier Bardem in Before Night Falls. While he remained closeted to most of his family, Arenas was not ashamed of his identity. In fact, it was the bold, homosexual subtext of his work that drew the ire of Cuba’s communist regime, while placing him on the map as a pioneering writer.

CO-PRESENTED BY

Queer Latina/o Artists’ Coalition



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