An interview with Cuban director Fernando Pérez on life, art and making movies in Cuba:
Fernando Pérez: I have one place in the world that I live in, where I was born, and that’s Havana. If you ask me why, I wouldn’t know, but then, that’s why I make films. In Cuba and specifically in Havana there’s a sort of energy that turns every situation into something unexpected. We lived through the Special Period in the 1990s in which the economic crisis that happened as a result of the fall of the USSR became, for many people of my generation and for a slightly younger generation like that of my children, a material and social crisis, it’s true, but for me, also a spiritual crisis. I went to visit my parents every Sunday, in Guanabacoa, a nearby village. I remember that had go through the tunnel under the bay of Havana to get there, and since there was no transportation I would do it by bike. And in 1993, when things got much worse—there was no food, they would cut the electricity for long periods of time—as I left the tunnel, I thought, this image that I’m living, it’s like a metaphor for the Cuban reality. It’s like one is crossing the tunnel, and we don’t see the end, but it has to be there; it struck me as very impressionistic, and that’s when the idea for the movie came.