Synopsis

Immersed in the jungle of Sierra Maestra, three veterans of the Angolan War are reluctant to abandon the revolutionary spirit which brought them together as comrades over thirty years ago. Always on guard, they continue to train dressed in their old uniforms for and endless mission: a war game in where they still can feel respected, strong and, above all, spiritually young. They are the last Samurai of the Cuban Revolution.

Title: Entre perro y lobo
Internacional title: Between Dog and Wolf
Genre: Docufiction
Estimated length: 75 minutes.
Shooting format: 2K
Screening format: 2K DCP
Country of production: Spain | Cuba | Colombia
Original language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Produced by: El Viaje Films · Autonauta Films · Blond Indian Films
Production year: 2019
Release year: 2020
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1:85
Sound: Dolby 5.1

Director: Irene Gutiérrez
Script: Irene Gutiérrez, Lisandra López
Editor: Cristóbal Fernández
Cinematography: Jose A. Alayón
Sound desing and mix: Carlos García
Original Music: Rafael de Jesús Ramírez, Cristóbal Fernández
Producers: Jose A. Alayón, Marina Alberti, Viana González, Irene Gutiérrez

70th. Berlinale International Film Festival | Forum

The sentence, “War is bad,” is not new, but the premise, “War is bad but it’s the only thing that make us feel alive,” is a strong paradox. The Cuban intervention in the Angolan Civil War was not only decisive in ending the longest civil war in Africa, but also in the liberation of Namibia and the abolition of apartheid. Our protagonists, along with 380,000 Cuban internationalist combatants, spent three years there, bringing the ideals and the military techniques of the revolution to this African country. Even today in Cuba there is still always a battle to fight, an enemy to struggle against: “Always in Combat”, “Motherland or Death,” but what do these slogans mean today? What happens now with those men who fought for these ideals when they were younger? Is it possible to face the fact that so many difficulties of the past are not recognized today, and that history has forgotten them because it no longer needs them?

Perhaps that is why Estebita, Miguel and Alberto, lucid in their role as guerrillas, exile themselves in their secret daily training, a moment outside of time and space, their own ritual of youth and comradeship. These men represent the crossroads of time: they are on the threshold, beyond the condition of soldier or peasant, of perdition or salvation, it is within themselves that this exceptional state of things coexists.

To capture this condition, I set out to make this jungle movie in collaboration with real ex-combatants, revealing the performative as the ideal vehicle for exploring history through their own corporality rather than merely from words. Ultimately, this entails not making a political film as such, but rather politicizing cinema itself; bringing together method, form and content to achieve the transcendence of emblems, slogans and even the political, in order to make a film whose process can serve as a certain catharsis. Perhaps that is what ENTRE PERRO Y LOBO is, a historical document from the contradictions of its living protagonists, a generation whose way of being in the world makes them a lineage in extinction, one that resists losing everything that makes them unique and unrepeatable.

Irene Gutiérrez

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