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Bitácora de cine cubano: A Compass to Understand the Seventh Art

Published: 2018.09.13 - 18:20:23   /  /  Olga Díaz Ruiz  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Bitácora de cine cubano: A Compass to Understand the Seventh Art

The third of four volumes that make up the encyclopedia of Cuban cinema is now available for lovers of the seventh art. Volume three of the literary encyclopedia Bitácora del cine cubano, "Producciones ICAIC (1960-1990)" is completed and brings us closer to the film arsenal of the Greater Archipelago of the Antilles.

In this third volume, which brings together a study on the first part of Cuban documentary production, the 1 490 editions of the ICAIC Latin American Newscast, registered since 2009 in the Memory of the World Register of the United Nations Educational Organization, Science and Culture (Unesco) are compiled as an essential testimonial of the first 30 years of the Cuban Revolution and the main international events from 1960 to 1990.

According to Cubacine, the portal of the ICAIC, the exhaustive work of experts from Spain and Cuba aims to summarize in four volumes all the cinematographic heritage of the country, from the silent cinema of 1897 to the contemporary. This project, which consists of three volumes, has come to light, and is the result of the research work of many professionals for several years.

"Bitácora de cine cubano is the definitive title of a project undertaken by the Cinemateca for many years, which is led by the Cuban film section, whose main specialist was María Eulalia Douglas. Later other specialists joined, so practically one way or another almost all the members of the institution collaborated," says Luciano Castillo, director of the Cinemateca de Cuba.

The compilation, published by Ediciones La Palma of Spain, has received the accurate impulse of the Cinemateca de Cuba, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (Aecid), the Ministry of Culture of Spain and the Canarian Film Library.

According to data published by the Cinemateca de Cuba, the published volumes include hundreds of digitized and restored photographs, detailed technical sheets of each relevant film production, with their respective synopses and a synopsis of the cultural panorama of each period.

The first volume is entitled "La República (1897-1960)" and includes all the silent and sound tapes made prior to the founding of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC).

This volume is followed by "Producciones ICAIC (1960-2012)", which covers in its entirety fiction and animated feature films produced since the triumph of the Revolution up to six years ago.

Once the third delivery of Bitácora concluded, Castillo highlighted among his greatest satisfactions with the first three volumes published his modern and attractive visual conception, which makes them pertinent also for young audiences: "From now on we cannot talk about Cuban cinema without taking this reference book as a starting point."

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