A common complaint overheard in Cuba during confidential conversations, chiefly among young professionals armed with college degrees and restless ambition, goes like this: “I love this country. I really do. But there’s no future here.”
Those words are never spoken, per se, in two of the three Cuban films featured in the “Vamos al Cine” festival-within-a-festival, Latino film program, but the theme is artfully buried within both, although expressed in very different ways by very different characters.
Fans of Cuban cinema, or just movie fans curious about Cuba, will have the opportunity to ask about sentiments like those when, thanks to the extravagant generosity of the Fred and June McMurray Foundation, three Cuban film directors will be featured in person at the Sonoma International Film Festival.
One of them, Juan Carlos Cremata, will comment on his 2005, Cannes Film Festival Award-winning film, “Viva Cuba,” about the Romeo-Juliet relationship between two children who decide to run away from home to thwart the girl’s mother from taking her out of the country.
The girl is Malu, her mother is upper-class, religious, divorced and has a boyfriend in another country, which gives her the opportunity to emigrate. Jorgito, the boy who lives across the street, has proletarian parents and a mother who expresses contempt for the fancy clothes and privileged pretensions of Malu’s mother, who she refers to as a slut.