(1993) 59 min. $95.00. Public Performance Rights.
Available in English or Spanish
All video formats and 16mm

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San Francisco, CA 94110
VOICE: (415) 282-1812
FAX: (415) 2282-1798


Review by Gary Handman
From Video Librarian
May/June 1995

Forget the cigar-chewing graybeard in military fatigues. If you want real insights into Cuba's future, look instead to the political and social discussions and debates taking place daily in parks, student apartments, and outdoor discotecas among Cuba's "next generation." Cuba Va provides a fascinating and balanced look at the hearts and minds of Cuba's post revolutionary baby boomers, a generation that seems to reflect in equal parts both continuing zeal for and growing disillusionment with Castro's socialist revolution. Shot in bright, cleanly edited video, Cuba Va lets us eavsdrop on a passionate and surprisingly erudite discourse regarding the social and political impact of the revolution; the state of human rights; the worsening, embargo-based economic crisis; and imperatives for Cuba's future. El Jefe Supremo himself also comes under scrutiny, with opinions ranging from the reverent to a kind of guarded, heretical disdain ("[Fidel is] like the despotic father; we've given him our self determination'). Regardless of the ideological stand, however, we get the overriding sense that this is a generation which in many fundamental ways bears only a passing resemblance to that of its parents. It's a culture raised as much on rock and roll as on Marxist rhetoric, one that, in the words of one student, "dresses, dances, and debates differently than a generation earlier." A nifty video. Highly recommended for any library collecting materials on present-day Cuba.


Cuba Va: The Challenge of the Next Gerneration

U.S.A. , 1993, 59 min., colo, Spanish with English subtitles
Directorss/Producers/Editors: Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco
Associate Producer: Judith Montell
Production Company: Cuba Va Film Project
Cinematographers: Vicente Franco and Jesse Block
Sound: Marcio Camara
Lights: Charles Griswoald, Alan Steinheimer

This is absolutely up-to-the-minute reporting that embraces so much contradictory information that the mind is sent spinning. Just when you thought you knew all about Cuba, along comes this bright, energetic and breathless video-to-film transfer that lets young Cubans speak and argue for themselves. What they have to say or sing or rap suggests that everyone born after the revolution has an opinion, and those opinions are diverse, quite diverse.

What it also suggests is that father Fidel, whether he intended to or not, has produced an extraordinary articulate gerneration that defines itself through politcal positions. Here is a nation in which young men and women believe that their personal behavior has a public meaning and consequence, and that even being alienated is an act of social rebellion.

The one area of agreement among those interviewed is the wish to be left alone after Castro's departure to sort out Cuba's future. But Miami is too close, and watching this appealing work from the United States, we know this will not be. Therefore we bring to this documentary a sense of anxiety, if not dread. What is abundantly evident, however, is how much contemporary Cuban youth culture in music, dress and gesture is already informed, despite the blockade (or maybe because of it?) by America.

In Cuba Va, Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco have precipitated a lively and urgent debate that raises provocative questions that become more complex in the asking. Cuba Va is electric.

--Laurence Kardish

Cuba Va: The Challenge of the Next Generation


"One of the most balanced and meaningful documentaries yet made about the transitional crisis through which Cuba is moving today."
-- Dr. Wayne Smith, Center for International Policy

"Up-to-the-minute reporting...Bright, energetic and breathless...CUBA VA is electric."
-- Laurence Kardish, Sundance Film Festival

"A spectrum of opinion that includes both fervernt socialists and the disillusioned opponents... The vigor, diversity and commitment of Cuba's younger generation is most impressive..."
-- Emanuel Levy, Variety

"A must view for all of us who are concerned, or simply curious, or deeply care."
-- Alice Walker, Author

"Cutting through misinformation and biased characaterization of social reality, CUBA VA is a unique and timely testimonial of what is really concerning and motivating Cuban youth today. In the midst of the severe shortages and uncertainties affecting them, it is a definite plus that the next gerneration is carrying out such a candid and honest debate."
(Dr. Max Azicri, Professor of Political Science, Edinboro Univ. of Penn.)

"Visually engaging and energetic. It captured the vigor and diversity of the island's youth - that segment of the population who've lived all their lives in socialist Cuba."
--Dr. Lina Fuller, Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Sociology, Univ. of Oregon

"In their own words, the politically committed and the alienated talk to each other and to the cameraa, expressing their divergent perspectives on the Revolution, the Special Period and the future... CUBA VA presents the full spectrum of opinion on a broad range of issues."
--Dr. Joel C. Edelstein, Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Political Science, University of Colorado at Denver

This web page was developed as a partnership between the Cuba Va Film Project and the UC Berkeley Library Media Resources Center

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