“Patria y Vida”, the protest song against the Cuban regime arrives at the cinema

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On July 11, 2021, the cry of homeland or life in the heat of the largest movement against the Cuban regime in more than six decades with the revolution in power.

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Almost two years later, Beatriz Luengo together with rapper Yotuel Romero, protagonists of the song that shook the regime, will be previewed Homeland and Life: The Power of Music (The Power of Music), a documentary this Tuesday (March 7) as part of the Miami film festival reflecting the injustices on the island and the rebellion against the Cuban government.

That year, amid the strong impact of the covid-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, long blackouts and shortages of basic products and medicines, thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Havana and other cities to protest against the government .of the island to the rhythm of the song by Cuban rappers Yotuel Romero, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, El Funky and the group Gente de Zona.

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The celebration, after winning the Latin Grammy in November 2021. Photo AFP

The celebration, after winning the Latin Grammy in November 2021. Photo AFP

Almost two years after that 9/11, Beatriz Luengo, has decided to give shape to dozens of unpublished testimonies, images and audio in a documentary registered during the revolt to continue denouncing the injustices on the island and the victories of the topic currently prohibited by the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel.

A song for the people

“The song lifted the Cuban people and we started to see that it was a movie story. If we wrote this in fiction we would say they are exaggerating but in December 2021 we entered the US Congress book with the text and when they read the reason they say: ‘So that future generations know it was a hymn to freedom’“, tells clarion the audiovisual director

Power of music

there he was born Homeland and life: the power of music (el poder de la música), the name of the documentary that will premiere at the 40th edition of the Miami Film Festival and which will then continue with a tour of various film festivals, to continue to bring the voice of those who continue to suffer in their own flesh the injustices of the regime.

The documentary recounts the repression of Cubans who came out to protest against the regime and denounces the current detention of Maykel Osorbo, one of the rappers who gave voice to the song.

The documentary recounts the repression of Cubans who came out to protest against the regime and denounces the current detention of Maykel Osorbo, one of the rappers who gave voice to the song.

The song title and brand new movie It is the other side of the historic slogan of Castroism “Homeland or death”which appears engraved on the edge of Cuban coins and was proclaimed by the historic leaders of the Cuban Revolution Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Fidel Castro.

Behind the bars

Among the more than 300 people arrested during the 2021 protests, Maykel Osorbo, one of the rappers who sings homeland and lifewho remains behind bars in a maximum security prison simply because it’s part of the song.

“All of this has also escalated the actions of the dictatorship with more repression, prisons and increased sentences against the detainees, but this bringing the inhumane to the protesters has also demonstrated the fear of chanting, because people have realized that the only path what he had is freedom, system change,” says Yotuel.

The leader of the popular urban music group Orishas has an order prohibiting entry to the island and for 18 years he was unable to play in his own country, something similar to what happened to other famous ones Cuban artists like Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan or Willy Chirino.

The slogan "Patria y Vida" featured in a march in support of Cubans held on November 14, 2021 in Miami.  Photo EFE/Ana Mengotti

The slogan “Patria y Vida” featured in a march in support of Cubans held on November 14, 2021 in Miami. Photo EFE/Ana Mengotti

The rest of the rappers singing homeland and lifeAlexander Delgado and Randy Malcom, from the duo Gente de Zona, They were informed by the FBI, who contacted them to advise them of a kidnapping order.

The Grammy and after

“Music is a very powerful tool, the wave of protest songs after the grammy that we won, that they opened playlists of protest songs and that people make music not for a danceable hit, but to claim their rights, the documentary also tells this,” says Luengo, who is also a partner of Yotuel.

The leap to the big screen of the theme for which he won two Latin Grammys Song of the Year and Best Urban Song It is a worldwide phenomenon on social networks with millions of visits, but it also continues to denounce the constant violation of human rights suffered by Cubans and the government’s obsession with silencing art.

“The documentary is a prime example in how you can’t close your eyes to what happened, that it has explicit imagery but also contains the illusion of them singing the song with their pain on camera”, concludes Luengo.

Source: Clarin

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