The national release of the new film Martí, el ojo del canario (2010), by filmmaker Fernando Pérez, began on April 1, 2010, in Camagüey, Cuba, at the XVII Taller Nacional de Crítica Cinematográfica [National Workshop of Film Criticism]. This event will continue until April 19 with theoretical debates and screenings of over a hundred audiovisual projects including Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s Dialéctica del espectador [Dialectic of the Spectator] and Juan Antonio García Borrero’s Otras maneras de pensar el cine cubano [Other Ways of Thinking Cuban Film]. In Havana, Martí, el ojo del canario [Martí: The Eye of the Canary] will be shown until April 13 at the Chaplin Cinema at 2:00 pm, 5: 00 pm, and 8: 00 pm.
Pérez’s new feature film focuses on the life of José Martí, also known as El Apóstol, from age 9 to 17. The film is described as “a look into the inner world of José Julián Martí Pérez and the formation of his character as a fair man” and “not a biography, but rather a spiritual journey.” The director explains, “Jose Martí was a truly sensitive man who marked the history of Cuba. But he was also a normal human being, like any one of us. I think that is what makes great men great. My film will delve into the day-to-day complexity that helped form Marti’s character during his childhood and teenage years. The point of view will lean more towards the personal rather than the historical; more subjective than biographic. Each Cuban has [his/her] own Martí. In this film, I would like to express my own.”
Cuban film director Fernando Pérez holds degrees in Spanish language and literature from the University of Havana. He began working in the Cuban film industry in 1971 and directed his first documentary in 1975. His work has received awards nationally and internationally. He received the Premio Casa de las Américas for his book Corresponsales de guerraI [War Correspondents]. His films include Clandestinos (1987), Madagascar (1994), La vida es silbar (1998), Suite Habana (2003), and Madrigal (2006