Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Universal Language

The Lost City opened in Chicago a week before schedule, and I just got back from seeing it.

There is not much that I can add that hasn't been said here or in other like minded blogs. This movie torn my heart into a thousand pieces, as everything I've knew about my family and friends were displayed before my eyes, and then to only have my heart stitched together with the threads of this movie's music and hope. If I have one negative critique, and I do have only one, it is that the editing could have been better -the editing job made the movie feel longer then what it really was. Other then that, this movie is a work of art and truth, and I applaud Andy Garcia for making it.

What I want to contribute to the conversation about this movie is not so much what I saw during the movie, but what I witnessed after it had finished. For the first time, in a very long time, I found myself in a theater that was dead silent during the credits. Occasional sniffs could be heard breaking this profound silence, and I was shocked. Could there be an audience in liberal Chicago willing to embrace the horrible truth of a failed and corrupt system? Did I just find myself with every Cuban in the city?

I was determined to find out. I got up and followed the crowd out. My ears were tuned and I was on alert for Spanish a lo Cubano.

The silence finally broke outside and people began to speak. It wasn't English, and yet it wasn't Spanish. The majority of the people that were in the theater with me were Polish. The somber look of a horrible reality recognized, and the still running tears of painful memories recollected, were not of fellow Cubans but of the Polish. I had prepared myself on my way there to duke it out with the local liberals, and here I found myself in a sad and silent solidarity with a people so different from our own. I was speechless.

Evil is a universal language, and it's vocabulary of pain needs no translation. Those who have suffered under the deceit and lies of communism need not to know Spanish or Cubans to really know the failure of communism in Cuba, the deception of those under it's spell, and the evil of fidel castro. Chicago is to the Polish as Miami is to Cubans, and though we are culturally worlds apart, I have discovered that what we have in common is our duty to our Lost Cities -no matter where we are in it's reconstruction. A cause and curse that we fight for together.

What I experienced today I probably will never forget. I will never look at the Polish the same way again. I will probably never look at Chicago in the same way either. And I assure you that I will never tell a Polak joke again -how can I? if many of us fought and are still fighting the same fight against evil?


Charlie Bravo said...

Well, Polish and Cubans are more alike than one could make out of the first opportunity of meeting them. I actually met a lot of them in Cuba, and another bunch abroad. They are a people with very similar values to ours, they are very Catholic, and they are fiercely independent, and anticommunist. That makes Poland a nation of honorary Cubans, and Cuba a nation of honorary Poles, I think.
Then we have a real Prince of the Church coming straight from the midst of the Polish heart: Karol Wotyla, John Paul the Second, or as it was called in Cuba, Juan Pablo. Just like that Juan Pablo. As if he had been your next door neighbor. Oh, tell me about an incredible nation that goes from the Oder River in Poland to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. A nation of anticommunist peoples.
Juan Pablo had always a nice way and a conforting word for all Cubans he met. A special twinkle in his eyes.... And that's why Poles weep with us.

AmandaDufau said...

I noticed the same thing at the viewing I went to. Of course, I saw it at the Ocean Bank theater on LeJeune, so there was nothing but Cubans, but after an intense round of applause at the end, there was silence and sniffling until the end of the credits.

I am so glad you finally saw it!! =)