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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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Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Entertainment

Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Mattel/ Instagram

The fact that the early days of Barbie were not quite so inclusive to all of us comes as no surprise. The blonde, impossibly figured doll with a penchant for similar-looking friends is a far cry away from the Barbie of today who has friends of all shapes, races, sizes, sexual identities, and abilities. Even better, today’s Barbie crew includes dolls who give queer children a broader playgound for their imagination.

Recently, Barbie has added a new addition to her friend group whose bringing more power to her LGTBQ fans.

Social media has dubbed the LGBTQ positive Aimee Song doll Barbie‘s girlfriend.

Twitter’s latest excitement is about a theory that Barbie and Aimee Song are dating. Photos of Mattel’s doll Aimee Song doll show her wearing a “Love Wins” T-shirt that supports LGBTQ+ rights. The Mattel doll was inspired by fashion blogger Aimee Song and recently caught renewed attention in a viral post shared to Twitter.

The “Love Wins” photos are only now going viral but were actually released in November 2017.

The photos of Barbie and the Aimee doll were shared to Twitter last Monday by user @kissevermore and now has Twitter debating whether the two are dating.

The pictures of Barbie and Aimee show the two dolls eating avocado toast. petting a dog, and smiling at each other. The images have fans questioning when Barbie came out and how she managed to nail a hot girlfriend before they did.

Even REAL Aimee Song weighed in on the images to confirm the relationship.

“I am the girlfriend,” she tweeted with a photo of herself and the Aimee Song doll. 

While Mattel has yet to officially identify Barbie as a lesbian, the original Instagram posts related to the Love Wins Barbies are proof that she is at least an ally.

Confirmed or not, true or not, one of the best parts of Barbie is that she is meant to be whoever her fans want her to be.

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Christina Haswood Wore Traditional Navajo Clothing Made By Her Bisabuela To Her Swearing-In Ceremony And It Was The Most Powerful Look Of 2021 So Far

Fierce

Christina Haswood Wore Traditional Navajo Clothing Made By Her Bisabuela To Her Swearing-In Ceremony And It Was The Most Powerful Look Of 2021 So Far

H. Armstrong Roberts/ Getty

Newly elected member of the Kansas House of Representatives, Christina Haswood, paid tribute to her heritage on the day of her swearing-in ceremony with the ultimate power look. Dressed in traditional Navajo attire, the 26-year-old made history on Monday when she became the  youngest member of the Kansas legislature, and only its second Native American member. 

Haswood took her oath of office wearing traditional Diné regalia which she made with the help of her mother, and partner.

Wearing moccasins, a velveteen skirt, and a red blouse embellished with silver string made a point to highlight her heritage and identity. Speaking to Vogue in an interview about her clothing, Haswood explained that she “wanted to honor my ancestors and all their sacrifices for me to be here and in this job. I wanted to honor my family, who has taught me how to be a strong, young, Diné woman while growing up in Lawrence, Kansas.” 

In addition to her dress, Haswood wore heirlooms given to her by family members which included a squash blossom necklace, a belt given to her by her uncle, and an additional belt given to her by her shimá sání (grandmother). Her great grandmother also gave her the earrings she wore. In addition, she wore a tsiiyéé (a Navajo-style hair tie) that she made with her shimá sání.

“The significance of these pieces are priceless,” Haswood explained to Vogue. “Many of the pieces I wore that day only come out on special occasions, because of how old they are. I don’t have the funds to be a collector, so many of my pieces have been passed down to my mother, who lets me borrow them.”

Haswood gave a behind-the-scenes look of her swearing-in attire on a TikTok video that has gone viral with more than 500,000 views.

In the video, Haswood readies her hair and does her makeup before eventually getting help from her mother and grandmother to get dressed.

Haswood won the Democratic primary after running unopposed for a seat in the Kansas state legislature that represents District 10.

With degrees in public health from Haskell Indian Nations University and Arizona State University, Haswood also received a master’s degree in public health management from the Kansas University Medical Center.

At the moment, she also serves as a research assistant with the National Council of Urban Indian Health and the Center for American Indian Community Health. There she studies nicotine addiction in tribal youth and researches the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous groups.

“Just two years ago I was in graduate school, and my greatest worries were about getting a job and student loans,” Haswood said in an interview with the Daily Kansan. “Today, the world has changed.”

According to Esquire, four Native candidates ran for office in Kansas. This week, each of them won their primary elections.

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