Memory and a Hard Place: Revisiting Central Havana

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Portal, 2008, 5 (1), pp. 1 - 16
Issue Date:
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Raul and Manolo are two Cuban men in their late sixties. Manolo left soon after Castros triumph to become a television celebrity in Miami. He returned in 1991 to make a clandestine film about the city which once was his. Raul never left his decaying city. He applauded the revolution, but little by little his enthusiasm soured. The paper examines the relationship of the two men to what was once the ultra modern Central Havana of the mid-1950s. Manolos froze on the day he left: his filmed city is silent, immobile, full of ghosts, almost empty, ugly, ruined. Manolos Central Havana processes and changes, it is noisy, busy, - but also it is ugly and ruined. Both lament the city as it once was. Only Raul sees hope of reconciliation
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