Censored Cuban film ‘Santa y Andrés’ and its main actors are in Miami

Lola Amores and Eduardo Martínez are surprised that in the streets of Havana everyone identifies them as Santa and Andrés.

“Sometimes we walk down the street, as usual, like two people unknown [to the public] and suddenly out comes a housewife or a child and says: “Look, those are Santa and Andrés and they recognize us,” Martínez said.

The actors, who are also a couple in real life, are in Miami for the first time for the public premiere of the film Santa y Andrés, the second by Cuban filmmaker Carlos Lechuga (Melaza, 2012).

Santa y Andrés has won awards at various international film festivals, but was omitted from the 38th edition of Havana´s Festival last year and also was banned from an awards competition at a festival in New York last month, which prompted Lechuga to pull it off its scheduled screening.

The Miami showing will take place at 8 p.m. Friday at the Miami Dade College Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eight St., in Little Havana.

The film tells the story of Andrés, a homosexual novelist with “ideological problems” and Santa, a woman committed to the government who is charged with overseeing the dissident.

The film is set in the 1980s but is based on the lives of several homosexual writers such as Reinaldo Arenas, René Ariza and Delfín Prats whose dissident positions during the 1960s and 1970s cost them ostracism, exile, internment in agricultural labor camps known by the Spanish acronym UMAP, or even prison terms.

Even though it has not been shown in Cuban theaters, the film has made its rounds on the island via black market distribution.

“We have been quite surprised by the reaction of the public in Cuba,” said Martínez, who says the film “is already on the street and has been seen a lot of people.”

The actors said they never expected the film to be censored on the island.

“The film has to do with the union of these two lonely beings with different political ideas, who end up needing each other,” said Amores. “I think that the need to unite is fundamental.”

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