Yimit Ramírez, the director of the film censored by the Cuban authorities I Want to Make a Movie, clarified this Sunday, in a message posted on his Facebook page, that his work is not really about independence hero José Martí.
I want to Make a Movie is not about Martí. Rather, it is a love story between two young, apparently very different, and seemingly very strange young people that overcome their differences, and love each other anyway. Tony (the main male character) cannot stand Martí, while Neysi (the main female character) adores him. "They do not agree on some things, but they get beyond it, and find love despite it all," Ramírez explained.
"How beautiful Cuba would be! How beautiful would be a world in which we could all react and say what we thought, without any faking or kissing up. Why does everyone, necessarily, have to like Martí? Why the tocororo, the palm tree, the shield, the anthem? Why so much delusion, rigidity, innocence? " the filmmaker wonders.
In the film, in a dialogue, the two protagonists discuss Martí, and one of them calls him a mojón (piece of shit) and maricón (fag).
In this regard, in his message on Facebook, Ramírez explained his intimate relationship with and admiration for José Martí, a figure that he discovered outside "school books, walls and news", "in the letters in which Máximo Gómez y Antonio Maceo criticized and branded him as 'effeminate," "a Martí who shit and liked hashish. "
"When I decided to leave the scene in the film, as I felt that attacking him was, given the circumstances, the greatest gesture of affection. The necessary step to lower him from his pedestal and bring him down to the level of the people, to render him a real friend. And now that is happening right now, with this whole movement, Martí must be rejoicing," he added.
"This whole event has generated very interesting and necessary debates. It is another film that transpires in real time, written and performed by all of us. It is very healthy to question nationalism, and everything that is cultivated and imposed. Whatever survives this re-examination is welcome, and whatever is not should go on its way, and that's all there is to it," concluded Ramírez.
Due to the controversial dialogue in the film, in which its main characters speak of Martí, the film was censored by the official Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) and excluded from the 17th Youth Exhibition, slated for April 3 to 8 in Havana.
Veteran cultural authorities and pundits squared off with young filmmakerslast Thursday at ICAIC headquarters over the film.
This week the ICAIC officially confirmed the censorship of the film for "disrespect" to patriotic symbols, considering it "an insult to Martí," regardless of its context, and arguing that this was a matter that not only concerned the ICAIC, but all society and those in the world who shared his values. "It is not something that can be accepted simply as an expression of the freedom of creation."
The official newspaper Granma even drew an analogy between the content of the film and the events of March 11, 1949 when "a group of US Navy marines completed a day off in the port of Havana, in the city's Central Park. "Drunk, two of them climbed the statue of José Martí, and one urinated, while his buddies applauded."
The Communist Party newspaper stated that "insulting Marti is inadmissible. Offending him, through one's work, and with one's words, is an insult resented by the immense majority of Cubans. "
Yimit Ramírez has not been the only one to address the figure of the Apostle in a different way. The renowned and veteran director Fernando Pérez, in The Eye of the Canary, presented an atypical hero, and had no qualms about depicting a young José Martí masturbating.