The doors to Cuba have been closed to most for a very long time. While some restrictions have been lifted in recent years, obtaining the appropriate visa and successfully executing a trip are easier said than done. Maybe its the mystique, the colors, the culture, the portal to the past, the "forbidden fruit" factor that causes adventurous tourists to gravitate towards Cuba.
Cuba and the Cameraman only adds fuel to the flickering flames of desire in the heart of the longing tourist. The documentary is a beautiful, thoughtful account of the island and its culture through the stories of three families befriended by Jon Alpert during his many visits. The happiness, simplicity, and sincerity of the people can be felt through his engagements. The interactions remind us that no matter how isolated or different our cultures might be, in the end, we are all human and share many of the same core principles to achieve love and happiness.
The concept of Cuba is a complicated one and unlike any that I've encountered in my lifetime---unless North Korea opens it's doors. It's like a recently opened time capsule. While the contents are intriguing, as time goes on, those contents will change and become more modern---less unique, less endearing. Then again, maybe not.
While its not the traditional photography flick I usually post about, Cuba and the Cameraman is an outstanding watch. In many ways it exalts photography to new heights, trading stills for motion, enabling the work to become a cinematic masterpiece.
Sounds interesting? Check it out on Netflix!