Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


DL050240 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0100 GMT 5 Dec 86

[Excerpts] This afternoon, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first
secretary of the party Central Committee and president of the Councils
of State and Ministers, attended the funeral for General [words
indistinct] Francisco (Sintad) de Miguel.

The funderal was held at the FAR cemetary in the Colon Necropolis. It
was also attended by Raul Castro, second secretary of the party and
FAR mininster as well as other members of the party, and generals,
chiefs, and officials of the FAR.

I believe there is no obstacle they cannot overcome. You have seen that
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is very enthused with the work he is conducting and
he already explained why. He explained in his speech what his film-related
experience was because he was third assistant, -- did he say third
assistant? -- he said something about being a director's third assistant.
He said he wanted to see Sophia Loren.

[Reporter] I heard what you said but why do you believe -- considering that
you are not a filmmaker -- the fact that the school created is important?
That is, as a head of state, why is it important for the Cuban people?

[Castro] Well, I think about it in terms of the Third World and not on the
Cuban people. I see the problems the Third World has. I see that one of the
ways of remaining dependent and colonialized is through the monopoly of the
mass media, of the control it has. We really can see what the Yankees want
to do here. Latin America sees virtually all those Yankee-alienating
series. I once read that there are countries where children know much more
about Superman than about the founders of their fatherland, those who
brought independence to their fatherland.

[Reporter] It happens in Argentina, Commander, 45 percent of its
programming is foreign, American.

[Reporter] But why do you tell us about that?

[Castro] Because I want to mention a news item about films I read here, it
would not make sense otherwise. But let me find it. Central American news,
I think it is under Latin America, news from Argentina -- since democracy
was established we always have several news items from Argentina -- medical
news...this cable says Latin America is successful in European film
festivals. It is on page 85. I read this one because I read the table of
contents and read the ones that are of greater interest. This is how I am
informed of what happens around the world every day. At least, I attempt to
be well informed. It says: One Argentinian and a Brazilian, two impressive
actors, Federico (?Luca) and Fernanda Torres, last night won the best
performance awards at [word indistinct] festival of the three continents
shortly after Argentina won in another film festival elsewhere in France.
It goes on explaining who they are and in which films they worked.

It says: Fernanda Torres, widely known in Brazil, perhaps more so for her
performances in soap operas than for her appearances in movies, in a way
could be considered a pioneer of new Latin American films. Here, new Latin
American films, this concept is not very clear. For us, new Latin American
film is everything that has been done so far. It continues saying that:
These two award-winners do not surprise anyone since they respond to the
quality of the new Latin American filmmaking which begins to set aside old
paths and takes new roads aiming at new goals. It says this new filmmaking
leaves the ghost of the "cinema novo" and it fully embraces modern times
with its problems and contradictions with such sophisticated themes and
techniques that could have been created in the head of a screenwriter or
the camera of a European or American. It continues explaining everything.
Then it says: The jury was not afraid to give the award to the best actress
because [words indistinct] since it is Brazilian, I do not know how to
pronounce Brazilian [as heard] by (Arnaldo Habor). Among the favorites for
that prize was another Latin American actress, the Argentinian Graciela
Borges with Raul de la Torre's "Pobre Mariposa."

(Arnaldo Habor's) movie astonished those attending the festival. Fernanda's
performance was outstanding -- and she is only 20 years old. No one could
say it was because of personal experiences, because she is too young to
know about complicated love affairs.

[Unidentified speaker] They are going to show it tonight at the festival.

[Castro] Very well, [words indistinct] has acknowledged her talent. It
praises the young woman, the listen to what it says: Latin
America caught the interest of most at the festival. It apparently included
films from Asia and Africa. It is not comparing it. To the contrary, it
says it begins to resemble European films. Mexico had a very important
special section and a French man who has worked a lot in Argentina, (Pierre
Rechenald), released a film he worked on during his exile there and his own
fellow countrymen virtually ignored it. Currently, Latin American films are
being shown in Huelva, south of Spain, in a film festival there. Listen how
this dispatch ends: As it has been said over and over, if Latin American
films have not been able to seriously penetrate European movie houses only
because of distribution problems, they are shown in festivals were they are
seen and talked about. It says they are very good films but are only seen
in European film festivals. Of course, what it does not mention is that
they are not shown in Latin America which is much more painful because of
the monopoly your compatriots have, the film transnationals, the movie
networks. That is the problem the foundation's and new film's thinkers and
strategists have to consider. All of us have to struggle with that.

In the meantime, each year we buy more new Latin American films. This is
good for us because if not we end up buying a lot of garbage to fill
television time year around and to fill cinemas year round. There are not
enough good films. There are a lot of films about violence, sex...most of
them are alienating.

The new L.A. film benefits us because we have to fill television screens
all year long and fill the movie houses, we have to schedule films year
round. It has good quality material. I like it very much, especially simple
and low-budget documentaries. They usually show us something that helps us
teach things about Latin American because actually less is known about
Latin American brother countries than what it is known about the United
States and Europe.

[Reporter] Will the government provide economic aid to promote movie
productions or will it be subsidized through other means?

[Castro] Well, the government encourages culture and encourages filmmaking
as well. Filmmaking began here with the revolution.

[Reporter] Commander, you mentioned before that you liked to watch films on
movie screens...

[Castro] Rather than on video machines. What happens is that video machines
are more convenient if the movie ends at 1 or 2 in the morning. One has no
other choice than to watch the movie on the video machine. I'd rather watch
good movies on a big screen. There is no doubt, they are better, the
quality is better. Video machines convenience. Sometimes You do not have 35
milimeter copies. I watch the ones we buy. But every year we buy a larger
number of Latin American films for our movie houses and our television. You
are the one responsible for this super-interview, it has gone too long.

[Reporter] Thank you very much. Thank you commander.

[Castro] It has been a pleasure.

[Reporter] Sir...