Cuba Releases Film about Life of Che’s Guerrilla Fighter

Havana, Jun 14 (Prensa Latina) The movie ”Ernesto”, by Japanese filmmaker Junji Sakamoto, will be premiered here today on the occasion 90th anniversary of the birth of the Cuban-Argentinean guerrilla.

In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, the filmmaker of the Japanese-Cuban co-production explained that he decided to narrate the life of the young Freddy Maymura, a member of Ernesto Guevara’s troop, because ‘until that moment it was unknown and for him it is necessary to show the history of those who sacrifice themselves to achieve something,’ he said.

‘I think that it is not necessary to reflect the cinematographic work of famous or well-known people; for me expressing that does not have great meaning, on the contrary, I like the films in which we talk about those who remain hidden in the darkness and are little known,’ Sakamoto said.

Those who have made efforts to achieve something in life are worth bringing to light. That’s my way of thinking, he said. The Japanese filmmaker expressed it was important for him to tell how was Maymura’s existence, a descendant of practically unknown Japanese family, who fought with Che and died in the guerrilla.

Four years ago I knew the story of the young Bolivian, son of Japanese immigrants, and I decided to tell his story. After a deep research, the movie’s producer and I agreed to do the work. Then, the selection process came up, said the filmmaker.

During that process, we had not yet decided the story to tell about Freddy’s life and we chose the one about his time as a student in Cuba when he began his medical career; that was the initial start of this co-production, which involved filming mostly on the island, he said.

Sakamoto highlighted Che’s stage when he visited the city of Hiroshima and Maymura’s relationship with the Missile Crisis in 1962, a time reflected in the first scenes of the film.

‘During the student period of this young man, there was an event that marked his moments of permanence on the island and it was called the October Crisis, a conflict between the United States, the former Soviet Union and Cuba that month, which has a direct relationship with Feddy,’ he said.

At that time, a nuclear war was about to be unleashed in the world and the events were related with the Bolivian guerrilla, because it was when he studied here. That was one of the reasons why we started with those scenes, he said.

The other reason was that, being a Japanese filmmaker, I could perfectly reflect Che’s visit to Hiroshima, the director added.

Sakamoto also spoke about the implication of carrying out this project, taking into account the insertion of three very diverse and unequal cultures such as Bolivia, Japan and Cuba.

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