"20 years in Cuba is not the same as in the rest of the world", Alice de Andrade, filmmaker
A Brazilian filmmaker said Thursday ahead of the screening of her new documentary "Veinte Años" (Twenty Years) at the Miami International Film Festival that the picture captured her profound love for Cuba, a place where she insists the passage of time is different than in other places.
Alice de Andrade's 1993 documentary "Luna de miel" (Honeymoon) looked at young married couples in Cuba, while in "Twenty Years" she examines some of these people's lives more than two decades later.
"Twenty years in Cuba is not the same as in the rest of the world," De Andrade said in an interview with EFE in Miami. "I had it in my head I was going to film a transformation because it had been said that Cuba had to change," but she said she was surprised at how gradual those changes have been.
"Twenty Years," which has already been screened in Sao Paulo and at the Havana Film Festival, focuses on three families and analyzes the difficulties of maintaining their love and raising children during the challenging "special period" of the 1990s.
During those years, Cuba was plunged into economic crisis due to the loss of subsidies after the collapse of the Soviet bloc.
Despite the political backdrop, the Brazilian filmmaker said the focus of "Twenty Years" was on people relationships and refrained from making political judgments.
The daughter of famed Brazilian director Joaquim Pedro de Andrade said she was interested in seeing the reaction of the Cuban exile community in Miami to her film and in particular how they view a picture that expresses love for the Communist-ruled island without delving into politics.
One of the couples examined in the documentary went to the United States and rekindled their relationship there, thus providing a connection with Cuban exiles who started a new life in the US.
That couple will be on hand for Friday's screening, as will Karla Berg, a daughter of a couple De Andrade first met in 1992 and that appears in "Twenty Years."
Although her parents, Marlene and Mario, were not eventually selected for "Honeymoon," De Andrade kept the tapes of her interviews with them and the two-year-old Karla, who now is 27 years old and a professional clarinet player.
"It was nice to see my parents in love in that interview with Alice," said Berg, whose mother and father have since separated.
One family that does appear in both "Honeymoon" and "Twenty Years" is headed by Miriam and Andres, a pair of revolutionaries who dreamed in 1992 of having a son.
Now their six-person household shares a 40-sq.-meter (430-sq.-foot) residence in a working-class neighborhood and the tension is apparent in their daily life.
De Andrade, who spent five years researching "Twenty Years," said she had difficulty tracking down the families she interviewed the first time around but now is interested in further exploring their lives.
Her next project, therefore, is a television series about 13 of those stories.