Frenemies: Cuba and the US Embargo
Set to the pulsating beats of Afro-Caribbean music, the feature-length documentary film Frenemies examines the fraught relationship between the island nation of Cuba and the United States. Blending 1950s archival footage with contemporary shots of Cuba’s economic decay and vibrant culture, the film paints a vivid portrait of a nation fighting for survival against the world’s longest-running embargo.
"Frenemies is more than a history lesson, an activist film, the denunciation of an inhumane economic blockade for decades. It is also a film about dialogue, which cultivates a white rose for the sincere friend, the cruel enemy, and the unsuspecting viewer, led right into an all-important conversation."
(Erica M. Munhoz - Literary Scholar, Brazil)
For almost 60 years it has been painfully difficult for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba. With the loosening of some travel restrictions at the end of the Obama administration, many U.S. citizens visited the island for the first time. In Frenemies we hear these eye-opening experiences in Cuba, as well as experiences and insights from subjects who have had longer term relationships with this small Caribbean country. We also hear from talented but frustrated native Cuban artists living on the island.
The film uses our speaking subjects personal experiences to carry the spectator through a lively discussion that rebuilds the Cuban Revolution, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Missile Crisis, Red Scare... The film travels through history making use of archival footage along with contemporary footage captured in Cuba bringing the audience to 2019.
Frenemies’ subjects discuss the embargo. The Cuban people are hanging by a thin thread. Decades of economic isolation have worn out the island and the morale of Cubans who still resist to keep their sovereignty. Can any economy survive such an all-encompassing blockade? The United Nations has voted almost thirty times for the embargo to be lifted. Frenemies presents a compelling argument for why this embargo should be lifted.
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