THE BACKGROUND TO THE DOCUMENTARY
In 2011 Cuba instituted new economic reforms – the so-called “Lineamientos”. They aim to update the socialist economic model and prevent the country from the economic crisis until at least 2030. To survive, the Caribbean island must adapt to the challenges of the world market.
Cuban socialism should absolutely be maintained and refined, rather than abolished. However, many European economists see the reforms as the beginning of the end of Cuban socialism. The gradual opening of the Cuban market, loosening of restrictions in relation to the US, and the
death of Fidel Castro strengthen the opinion in Europe that Cuba will change rapidly. There has been a rush of tourists on the socialist island desperate to experience the supposed “charm of the Castro era” before it changes.
Noodles was barely 5 years old when he was forced to leave his native country of Cuba. When he was old enough, he returned from exile and travelled to his homeland – in search of his cultural roots. He conversed with locals who told him about the current crisis and the urgently needed reforms. He learned about viewpoints of the proud Cubans he encountered, as they described their history and their future, in a country that is fighting for survival and so full of contradictions. On this journey through the furthest reaches of the island, Noodles discovered Cuba’s new and old industries, meeting both those who stand to benefit and those who will suffer as a result of the new reforms. At the end of it all, he felt he understood why socialism is still of great importance to Cuba.
“Experiment Socialism” shows the everyday life of Cubans, which differs from clichéd postcards of colorful images. Instead, the film takes a look at examples of everyday Cuban reality: farmers working in the fields, on the coconut plantations, in the jungle, in the villages, and privately in their more urbanized neighborhoods during a time of great upheaval. A look at Cuba’s past and the change in Cuba’s day-to-day experience illuminates some of the upheaval facing the country today. But many contradictions remain. The uncertainty and skepticism of the residents toward this ageing ideology is obvious.
THE IDEA BEHIND
The idea behind the film is a cultural exchange with the audience. The film conveys the culture and history of Cuba and its impact to the presence from the perspective of the Cubans and the Western world. The controversial issue relating to Cuba’s development offers many approaches to intergenerational conversation, mutual respect and understanding to learn from each other. Especially exciting is the view of the young and old generation of Cuba on the future of their country.