Entertainment

THR Claims A U.S. Movie About Hemingway Is The “First” Shot In Cuba In 50 Years

This morning, we were treated to the new trailer for “Papa: Hemingway in Cuba,” a biopic exploring — you guessed it! — Ernest Hemingway’s time on the island. Again. And to hear The Hollywood Reporter tell it, it’s “the first film shot in Cuba in over 50 years“:

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Credit: THR /  Sunstone Film Productions, Yari Film Group (YFG)
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Credit: THR

This is, of course, incorrect. Cuba has its own film industry. Cuban filmmakers have indeed been making movies the last five decades. Let’s remember the 1999 documentary “Buena Vista Social Club,” an international co-production among Cuba and the United States, as well as Germany, the UK, and France. But, those movies weren’t about Hemingway.

For decades, there’s been a fascination with — and a tendency to mythologize — the author’s relationship to Cuba. The Atlantic’s lengthy “Hemingway in Cuba,” published in August 1965 (at a time when Cuban exiles were fleeing the island in the wake of the 1959 Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro’s rise to power) paints Cuba as a backdrop populated with limestone villas, sun-kissed seas and a Canary Island native, Gregorio, who lets “Papa” know when there’s “feesh” nearby. ?

The trend of presenting Cuba as a lush, mysterious backdrop for white, American stories continues. In fact, the IMDb page for “Papa” literally describes it as a story about witnessing Hemingway’s “decline into depression and alcoholism with the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution.” It’s this mode of thinking that brings us such time-honored gems as the inexplicable “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” and fashion spreads wherein inspiration from a recent trip to Cuba manifests in the form of a $14,410 chest of drawers, Gucci bags and yet another Hemingway:

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Credit: Instagram / sarahamandabray

Because if Hemingway’s Cuba is anything at all, it’s fashionable. In 2015, Refinery29’s Connie Wang offered a look at what lifting sanctions between Cuba and the U.S. may mean for the fashion industry, an industry that, like film, has a long history of using different cultures as not only inspiration and references, but as literal background fodder. For example, here was English designer Stella McCartney’s take on Cuba-inspired fun:

On Monday, Stella McCartney threw a garden party to present a beautiful resort collection, in which she paired her billowing chiffon gowns, knotted-up separates, and sultry spring looks with her signature floral-sprayed, cruelty-free accessories. The theme of the party was Cuba, and the collection was fêted with chocolate cigars, rum drinks, a Son Cubano band, and two costumed men dressed up like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. (When asked about the intention here, the Stella team responded that the theme was nothing more than just for fun.)

Haha, yiiiiiikes!

“If anything,” Wang adds, “using two of the most recognizable faces of communism to support what’s inherently a capitalist industry feels like an exercise in mixed messages.”

And that’s just the trouble. The messaging is off and muddled. It appears there’s no real desire on the part of creators and artists in the fields of film or fashion, to add context, to place Cuban history and Cuba’s present at the forefront. With Hemingway as our proxy, it becomes clear that there’s no desire to actually know Cuba, but to experience it vicariously and at a great — safe, clean, Instagram-ready — distance.

There is a shallowness inherent in not wanting to understand what figures like Castro or Guevara represent before using them in art about Cuba made by, and for, non-Cubans. There is a longing, but a lack of curiosity. There’s a willingness to view, but not to engage. It’s Cuba as costuming, as beautiful and mysterious and maybe as a slightly dangerous window-dressing.

As sanctions lift and Cubans, both on the island and within the U.S. (groups that are neither monolithic nor necessarily in agreement, it should be noted), increasingly have their say and make more highly visible art of their own, this trend of pushing Cuba back and rendering it a one-dimensional, painted backdrop of palm trees and old cars cannot be sustained. Cuba, and Cubans, will stand firmly in the foreground.

But, hey. For the moment, keep enjoying your cigar jokes, your Che-themed parties and your Hemingway-guided traipses into a Cuba that never quite did exist.
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Credit:  Mediapro, Versátil Cinema, Gravier Productions / Giphy

READ: Gina Torres Is Going To Star In A Brand New Show About A Cuban Badass

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President Trump Attempted To Register His Trademark In Cuba In 2008 To Open Hotels And More

Things That Matter

President Trump Attempted To Register His Trademark In Cuba In 2008 To Open Hotels And More

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

New reports show that President Donald Trump tried to register his trademark in Cuba in 2008. The revelation shows another contradiction from President Trump who promised not to do business in Cuba until the island was a free democracy. The news comes just one week into Hispanic Heritage Month and has left some on social media questioning President Trump’s commitment to Cuban-Americans.

A new Miami Herald story is shining a light on Trump’s attempted business dealings in Cuba.

The story highlights President Trump’s hypocrisy and frequent contradictions throughout his life. The president’s attempted business dealings in Cuba came after he told the Cuban American National Foundation that he would not. During a 1999 speech, President Trump promised that he would not do business in Cuba until the island and the people were free.

For some, the revelation comes as a reminder of President Trump’s record with the Latino community. Latinos have been a constant target for Trump’s attacks since he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals when announcing his candidacy in 2015.

The news has angered Latinos who see the gesture as a sign of betrayal.

“I’ve had a lot of offers and, sadly, it’s all be very recently, to go into Cuba on deals. Business deals, real estate, and other deals,” Trump said at the 1999 speech in front of the Cuban American National Foundation. “I’ve rejected them on the basis that I will go when Cuba is free.”

Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, Republican political pundit and outspoken Trump critic, did not hold back.

Navarro-Cárdenas is one Republican who has long stood up against President Trump. Her tweets highlighted the fact that President Trump didn’t try to do business in Cuba just once. There are several instances that show that the president tried to make business happen in Cuba.

“Putting money and investing money in Cuba right now doesn’t go to the people of Cuba,” Trump told the audience in 1999. “It goes into the pockets of Fidel Castro.”

People are not completely shocked by the news.

The Trump administration has also been tied to the Cuban government. Earlier this year, news surfaced that Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, met with “Castro’s son” in Cuba. The meeting happened in 2017 just days before the inauguration. Emails show Manafort trying to relay information from “Castro’s son” to Kathleen T. McFarland, who would go on to be the Deputy National Security Advisor for the Trump administration.

The 2020 election is going to be one of the most important elections in our lifetime. Make sure you and your friends are registered to vote and commit them to voting. You can go to IWillVote.com or VoyaVotar.com and text TODOS to 30330 today to learn what choices you have to vote in your community and get information on where and when to vote.

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READ: Latinos For Trump Posted A Collage Of Flag For Hispanic Heritage Month And Got Some Wrong

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Yalitza Aparicio Stars In Dior’s Women-Centric Film Series

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Yalitza Aparicio Stars In Dior’s Women-Centric Film Series

Dior/ Youtube.com

In the two years that have passed since her debut as an actress in the 2018 Academy Award-winning film Roma, Yaltiza Aparicio has established herself as a Hollywood “get.” The Indigenous actress has appeared countless times on the cover of magazines, ones like Vogue México and Vanity Fair, and has been featured in ad campaigns for designers like Rodarte. So it’s no surprise that she has now been tapped to be part of Dior’s new campaign “Dior Stands with Women.”

As part of an effort to celebrate women across the film, beauty, and health industries Dior has launched its “Dior Stands with Women” campaign.

On Monday, the fashion brand announced it had launched a series of short films honoring women and their contributions to the industries and communities which they occupy. The campaign features actresses like Yaltiza Aparicio, model Paloma Elsesser, dancer Leyna Bloom, Cara Delevingne, Charlize Theron, Parris Goebel, and others.

In a statement about the campaign, Dior announced their intent in a post on Instagram. “Inspired by the exceptional women who have marked its history, Christian Dior Parfums unveils a series of short filmed portraits that give a chance to speak to extraordinary women,” it reads.

Speaking in the portrait series, Aparicio explains “For me, being a woman means being strong, always holding your head up because they tell you what they say, you must be sure of what you are capable of,” she went onto say that as “as an ambassador for UNESCO, my role is to represent indigenous communities with dignity. Give them a voice and visibility, which is something that we have lacked for a long time… Women have fought for many years for gender equality. It is not about being superior to men, it is about having the same opportunities, that in your work they give you a fair salary and not simply because you are a woman they pay you less or that they consider that you have fewer capacities simply because you are a woman.”

Speaking about their journeys, actresses Cara Delevinge and Charlize Theron touched on being unapologetic and part of male-dominated industries.

Check out Yalitza and the others in the Dior campaigns below.

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