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46th San Francisco International Film Festival at PFA

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
9:00 a.m. WE ARE THE MUSIC
Rogelio París Cuba, 1964

(Nosotros, la música). In the early years of the Revolution, Cuban filmmakers marched with the same youthful enthusiasm and sense of mission as the volunteer brigades that went to the countryside to eradicate illiteracy. Rogelio París was one of these young filmmakers, and he corralled some of Cuba's greatest popular musicians in tenements, churches, night clubs, concerts, and the streets of Old Havana, recording their priceless performances—Bola de Nieve, Celeste Mendoza, Chapottín, Elena Burke, Joseíto and Milacho Rivera, performing charanga, guaguancó, trova, rumba, danzón, and bolero. The film shows how very, very African it all is: the music, the dancing, and the people. Short: Strings over My City (Mayda Vilasis, Cuba, 1995, 16 mins), the all-female Camerata Romeu performs in the basilica of an eighteenth-century convent in Havana.

—Miguel Pendás

• Written by Rogelio París. Photographed by Tucho Rodríguez. Edited by Nelson Rodríguez. (66 mins) (Total running time: 82 mins)