Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Praises Latin Efforts

FL161802 Havana Radio Reloj Network in Spanish 1500 GMT 16 Dec 85

[Excerpts] Referring to what has transpired since the last film festival,
our commander in chief underscored this year's achievements as very
encouraging and stimulating. He explained that it had been suggested that
the festival be expanded to include television and video next year. He also
referred to the creation of a school for Latin American and Caribbean
students on film making and later on could include students from Africa and
other Third World countries, an effort we would support according to our
possibilities, he said.

After mentioning that he considered himself one of the people charmed by
the quality of the new Latin American cinema, Commander in Chief Fidel
Castro underscored the great interest shown by our people in the festival.
He also referred to the influence exercised by U.S. transnationals aimed at
preventing the Latin American people from seeing their countries' film
productions. He mentioned as a matter of concern that the colonizing
influence of imperialism encourages a large number of Latin American youths
to be more familiar with phantom characters than with heroes of
independence. Fidel highlighted the festival's impact and the massive
support of the people, who were very interested in the content of films.

After indicating his strong interest in Latin American films, in the
strategies of the men making up the majority of the region's countries,
Fidel denounced the fact that the transnationals poison not only rivers but
also human minds with the films they produce. The commander in chief
asserted that our continent's film industry was falling into a total
decadence. He said: We do not realize to what extent we are being
culturally colonized, mystified, corrupted. How can we speak of freedom,
economic, political, technical, and cultural independence, if the
communication media is in the hands of those who control, oppress, and
exploit us? asked Fidel, who immediately underscored the growing
improvement in the quality of Latin American films.

Fidel explained at the closing ceremony of the festival that these events
constitute part of our countries' struggle for survival and liberation,
which has cultural support in the economic and political battle we are
waging. All the democratic and progressive forces should support it, and we
need to make the politicians aware of the need for their help in this area
because of the impact it has on our peoples. Fidel said it is necessary to
ask for the help of international organizations to increase the funds of
the new Latin American film industry, which already has $100,000, and to
help in its dissemination, which would solve the problem of a shortage of
filming materials.

Commander in Chief Fidel Castro said the success of the film festival was
due to the quality of those who participated in it and to the material
presented for consideration. He mentioned the meeting of Latin American and
African film makers, who have common ideas and problems. Fidel said the
struggle of Latin American film makers is a true struggle of national
liberation which needs international cooperation and public opinion's
awareness. This new Latin American film festival shows that the battle can
be won if we win moral support in this struggle, the commander in chief
said, asserting that the event stimulated an exchange of ideas in a spirit
of common struggle.

During last night's closing ceremony, Mexico's Jorge Sanchez handed Fidel a
document signed by the members of the Latin American film makers committee.
The document expresses gratitude to our commander in chief and to all
Cubans for their solidarity, encouragement, and affection toward new Latin
American cinema. Fidel was selected as honorary member of the recently
created New Latin American Film Foundation.

Further Remarks

FL162018 Havana Television Service in Spanish 1800 GMT 16 Dec 85

[Text] Our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, president of The Councils of
State and Ministers, last night made the closing remarks at the Seventh
International New Latin American Film Festival during a ceremony at
Havana's Karl Marx Theater. Fidel referred to the new Latin American
cinema's historic task and denounced the alienating work of film
transnationals, with specific examples.

(Begin Castro recording] When film or television directors go to any part
of the world in search of documentaries and films, what do they find?
Usually trash, poison! There is not enough good material to fill all the
spaces of movie theaters and television. This is what happens to us in our
efforts to select the best of films everywhere, in socialist countries,
Western countries, even in the United States, when we find a good movie and
we can obtain it. As you know, this is banned. The Yankees forbid you from
watching Latin American films, and the Yankees forbid us from watching U.S.
films. All of us are forbidden something. They forbid us as punishment, and
heavens knows why they forbid you from watching Latin American films.
[applause] [end recording]