Wednesday, April 23, 2014
"The Two Cubas": Logo docudrama shows the parallel lives of two gay friends in modern Cuba
“The Two Cubas”, directed by Carolina Valencia, in 2006, is a significant 45-minute teledrama (from the Logo channel) about the lives of two gay men, friends, in Cuba, and it seems more significant now because of increasing concerns about recent anti-gay laws overseas. It could also be called “The Two Joses”.
Jose Rodriquez is a dancer, 38 years old, and has his own apartment in Havana. The film says that it is unusual for single men to be able to live by themselves in Cuba without getting married. He has a successful career and has no desire to emigrate.
Jose Luis is an English teacher from La Habana, and has been invited to visit Germany by a friend there. Bu the has to get a visa to go. At the end, he is denies the visa because Germany fears he is too “young” and will become “dependent”.
The film shows gay bars and parties in Cuba, which seem to always get the watchful eyes of the police, but don’t seem to attract the harassment today that they did in the past. Luis is stopped in one scene for not carrying his ID card.
The DVD can be rented from Netflix (“Red Envelope”).
In 1980, there was an influx of gay men who had fled Cuba by boat, and there was social pressure in the gay community in Dallas (where I lived at the time) to house them. I wonder if the same situation could develop today if there are people seeking asylum from Russia, Nigeria and Uganda. But in 1980, the people were already here.
In 2000, there was a film “Before Night Falls” by Julian Schnabel about Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas (Javier Bardem) who would escape Cuba’s communism die of AIDS in 1987.
It strikes me as odd that Michael Moore (in “Sicko”) depicted Cuba as a model for health care!