Thursday, July 06, 2006

Before Night Falls

One of the things that bothers me a little about blogging is that sometimes I want to post something that, to some of my readers, may be old news. But I can't help it. I admit I haven't seen every movie or read every book about Cuba so sometimes my thoughts on these works are a little tardy. Which brings me to the movie I watched at home last night courtesy of NetFlix. The movie is called Before Night Falls and is the story of Reinaldo Arenas, the Cuban author who died at age 47 in 1990 in New York. Arenas, who was openly gay, was a vocal critic of the castro regime and not just for its treatment of gays, which has been despicable.

Lately we've seen the regime's efforts to whitewash the past and present itself as gay-friendly, but I urge you to see this film if you haven't already. The movie contains great acting and beautiful photography. It gives the viewer a feel for what life must have been like in Cuba in the 60s and 70s. Be warned, however, that the movie also contains a lot of adult situations.

What convinced me to post about the movie, even though it was released in 2000, was this morning's post about Vicarious Marxists from Val at It reminded me of this quote from Reinaldo Arenas that I read last night after I watched the movie.

There is a very advantageous position among leftists writers who live in capitalistic countries who enjoy all the benefits of democracy and great profits they earn while attacking democracy while they live in a democratic country. Maybe if those writers lived in a communist country from where they could not get out - they might change the way they think. Since living there, they would not be able to write a word! So for us, who suffered so much in Cuba - it's infuriating to see people enjoy all the security that comes with democracy - getting pleasure attacking it and becoming rich from doing this!
Vicarious Marxists indeed.

You can see/hear Arenas make the above statement in Spanish here.


Val Prieto said...

Arenas should be required reading for all the Vicarious "ists" out there.

ziva said...

Great post Conductor. I haven't seen "Before Night Falls" either. Just recently, a friend urged me to see it and after reading this post I definitely will. Thanks.

Orlando said...

I dragged my wife out to Laguna Beach to see the movie when it first came out in 2000. I remember that this was also around the time that every leftist sympathizer was screaming for returning Elian to fidel. The homosexual community out here in California was very vociferous in this issue, and we thought it would be a good movie for them to see. Unfortunately, as time passes and when it comes to fidel, all is forgiven.

Omar said...

Conductor, welcome to the club. I saw this work of art when it was first released, and went back to the same theater to see it just two days later. It is one of my all time favorites and a "must see" for all Cubans despite the "adult situations".