the 1964 Russian-Cuban co-produced film "I AM CUBA"
as a starting point , SHE WAS CUBA
is a video made up of two stories. As the title
suggests, the video explores the nature of memory,
the time passed and what is left behind.
The first story traces the death
(and back to the life) of a Cuban woman who left
Cuba and seeked political asylum in Canada. The
nameless woman in the video symbolizes Cuba the
country, or perhaps the ones who have left their
native land to make a new home elsewhere. It is
the tale about the experiences of a refugee, a
woman of colour, in her new life in a foreign
country. It is a tale of exile, adventure,
alienation, and the search for dreams, freedom,
love and acceptance.
The second story follows the videomaker in his
daily accounts of his visit to Havana. It is
also the story of his daily struggles and learning
to deal with the loss in his life. In a way, the
videomaker too deals with his past in his internal
To interweave the two very personal stories, the
video borrows footages from various films made in
or of Cuba. For a country that has been
exploited and exoticized by the entertainment
industry and the media, SHE WAS CUBA
questions representation, imagination and imaging.