EPICENTRO, a documentary from Oscar-nominated director Hubert Sauper, is now available online on kinolorber.com.
The film is a metaphorical portrait of post-colonial Cuba, whose relationship to the United States changed starting in 1898 with the explosion of the USS Main in Havana. That event ended Spanish colonial dominance and ushered in everything American, including its cinema and the propaganda that it facilitated.
“Metaphorical” well describes a few minutes at the start of the film when you wonder exactly what it is you’re looking at. Exercise patience and you’ll get to the brilliance of the film – the way Cubans (often young ones) see their country’s relationship with the United States and what they see as interventionism and/or propaganda.
EPICENTRO allows you deep into Cuban homes and into the thoughts of Cubans young and old. It also lets you draw your own conclusions as to the behavior of American tourists in the island.
In an interview, Sauper explained why he sees Cuba as the center of the Americas: “Geographically, it’s in the very center between north and south. Politically, it’s at the crossroads of capitalism and communism. Historically, it’s been the epicenter of Spanish America as well as the nucleus of US-American expansionism.”
EPICENTRO is ultimately an enlightening movie, at times touching. It is 109 minutes long in Spanish, with English subtitles.
A $12 ticket purchased through this link is good for a five-day pass and it will support Theatre Raymond Kabbaz.