">Name: French film commision bans Chris Marker's controversial film on Cuba under the regime of Fidel Castro
Artist: Chris Marker (b. 1921 - ): French film director|
Confronting Bodies: The Catholic Church; and, the French Commission de controle des films cinematographiques
Date of Action: 1960's
Specific Location: France and Cuba
Description of Artwork: Marker's film titled, "Cuba si!" ("Cuba, Yes") was shot in 1960 and early 1961, during and after the celebration of the second anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. The film is divided in two parts: the first shows Marker as a tourist-like figure who is traveling through Cuba, experiencing everyday life in the country; the second part presents an unedited look at Cuban president Fidel Castro. In the film, Castro allows Marker rare access into communist Cuba; and, in turn, Marker grants Castro the opportunity to present himself as he would like to be seen by allowing him to put his own case without editorial interference. The film is controversial for many reasons: not only does Marker provide Castro with an unprecedented opportunity to present an unbiased depiction of himself to the Western world, the film also discredits the Catholic Church's claim that Castro is a dictator by showing footage of the Spanish dictator Franciso Franco surrounded by cardinals. And, to add further to the controversial nature of the film, in a post-script Marker celebrates the defeat of the US-backed invaders by Cuban forces at the Bay of Pigs on April 15, 1961.
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