October 1, 2013
Galeria Cubana inspires documentary film ALUMBRONES

Galería Cubana is proud to introduce Alumbrones, a documentary feature film that looks at the lives of seven of Galería Cubana’s artists. Filmmaker Bruce Donnelly follows the lives of Edel Bordón, Sandra Dooley, Orestes Gaulhiac, Eduardo Guerra, Isolina Limonta, Yamile Pardo, and Luis Rodríguez (NOA).

Through in-depth interviews in the artists’ homes and studios, the film reveals the philosophies and ideas that inspires the work and covers a diverse range of subjects and issues from supply shortages to family life, love, sex, and music. Several persistent themes come into light: ingenuity, perseverance, passion, and patriotism. We are shown how each artist has developed his/her own technique to serve as a vehicle of communication for his/her own perspective on these common themes that unite them not only as artists, but also as Cubans. We are left with an understanding of the work, the people, and an unequaled love for the country.

For many of the artists interviewed, the onset of the traumatic “special period,” triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent loss of trade and aid, was not only a time of pecuniary poverty, but also a time of creative wealth. At the crux of this “special period,” due to the poor conditions of decaying power plants, apagones, or power blackouts, had become a frequent and on-going problem for Havana. Less frequent were alumbrones, or periods of light. In a country full of uncertainty and possibility, Alumbrones offers an honest, unassuming depiction of a country united by those who love it deeply and would choose no other place to call home.

Alumbrones was created in collaboration between Galería Cubana owner, Michelle Wojcik, and South African filmmaker, Bruce Donnelly, who asked Wojcik if he could document the story of her artists. She invited him to travel to Cuba and introduced him to “the artists near and dear to me.” Galería Cubana is one of approximately 30 institutions that hold U.S. Treasury Department licenses to legally import artwork from Cuba. Wojcik visits Cuba regularly and has forged close relationships with the artists she represents.

Alumbrones will premiere October 2013 at the Raindance Film Festival in London, England.

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