New Jersey Stage logo
New Jersey Stage Menu


Zuzelin Martin Lynch’s Craving Cuba gets its Area Premiere at the New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, February 3rd!


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 02/01/2017

Zuzelin Martin Lynch’s Craving Cuba gets its Area Premiere at the New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, February 3rd!

Zuzelin Martin Lynch’s Craving Cuba gets its Area Premiere at the New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, February 3rd!

Nigrin: Your film Craving Cuba is a multi-generational documentary film about Cuban-Americans and their complicated relationship with Cuba. Please tell us more about your film and why you made it.

Martin Lynch: I was inspired to make the film at the crossroads of three distinct events: the first being on December 17, 2014 when I turned on the news and witnessed President Obama announcing that after 54 years, the United States was moving to normalize relations with Cuba; A month later on January 16, I turned 40 which sparked a deep and personal examination of my purpose in life; finally these culminated shortly thereafter when I attended the Sundance Film Festival and was inspired by wonderful documentary films. On the flight home from Sundance on Feb 1, 2015, I came up with the idea for Craving Cuba

My inspiration: I was raised and heavily influenced by my grandparents. They gave me the duality in identity that is so prevalent in my life. As I turned 40 and realized how lucky I was that all of my grandparents were (and still are) alive, I was inspired to honor their story while diving into the multi-general complexities that arise when an immigrant or exiled group ‘becomes’ American from the perspective of identity. I was initially working on this as a writing project, but after attending Sundance, I decided to make a film!



 
Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info



Nigrin: Craving Cuba is very timely given the recent loosening of restrictions by the United States government.  Are most Cuban-Americans happy about this?  Is this discussed in your film?

Martin Lynch: Yes, the film is very timely. This pushed me to produce it quickly because I wanted to capture this moment in time and all of the varying emotions from within the Cuban-American community. The film explores this subject with various people. I believe that all Cuban-Americans want positive change in Cuba, but there are varying opinions about the approach. 

Nigrin: What has the response been to your film so far?

Martin Lynch: The response to the film has been very positive. With the topic of Cuba usually being so political, I have had both liberal and conservative audiences show initial skepticism about the film possibly being politically driven. My goal has always been to make a film that would show the humanity behind some of the complex and varying opinions within the Cuban-American community and to this, I feel that I have been successful. After watching the film, skeptics on both sides of the political spectrum have thanked me for making the film.

This film is about Cuba and the Cuban-American experience, yes - BUT for me it is also a deeply personal perspective into one exiled group that relates to may others and their journey in ‘becoming’ American.

Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you can rely to our readers?

Martin Lynch: One very important discovery made while I was interviewing my paternal grandparents was something I did not know about their journey to America. While I thought they came over via Freedom Flights, like most Cubans during that era, I learned that their visa came through Mexico. When they flew to Mexico, they expected to fly over to the U.S. where family was awaiting them, but when they arrived, they were told they would have to wait months. In desperation, my family and all the others with them (45 total) illegally crossed the boarder via the Rio Grande into Texas. This significant detail made me think about my family’s history in a very different way - one that relates with the millions of people that controversially cross the boarder every day.



 
Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info



There is also a misconception that the early waves of Cubans left because all of their property was confiscated. Although it is true that all proper was confiscated, the film explores the deeper reasons behind the decision that so many made to leave their home and everything behind.

In interviewing artist, Maria Elena Gonzalez, she recaps when she left Cuba and was not allowed to take anything with her. As a defiant child, she decided to stop washing her hair, instead adding Cuban earth to her scalp to take it with her. Red earth was common in her home town of Aguacate. The image described of her washing the red earth out of her hair when she landed in Miami resonates with me to this day.

Actor, writer, director, Carmen Pelaez tackles the common sentiment that people should “go to Cuba before it changes!” She hilariously challenges the audience on this notion and that having a Starbucks in Havana wouldn’t be the end of the world because it would not change the fact that Havana is a historical city, very much like London or Paris - and Starbucks hasn’t ruined them.

Here is the Craving Cuba trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnX4r2Wu-b4&t=23s



***********************************************************

Craving Cuba will be preceded by the short film Solo by Matthew Puccini. Here is more info on these films and this screening:

Solo - Matthew Puccini (Brooklyn, New York) 
 This short film follows Clay, a young Appalachian teenager who quietly slips out of his small town one morning. As Clay and his younger brother, Lewis, spend the day journeying along the back roads of their hometown, the larger mystery of where they're going - and why they're going there - becomes heartbreakingly clear. 2016; 17 min. With an introduction and Q+A session by Matthew Puccini!

Craving Cuba - Zuzelin Martin Lynch (San Anselmo, California) 
 This multi-generational bilingual documentary film is about Cuban-Americans and their complicated relationship with Cuba. The film follows a Cuban-American woman seeking to understand her true identity. Evoking laughter, passion, rage and hope, she interviews musicians, artists, politicians, and grandparents throughout the U.S. and to balance between conservative and liberal views along the way. This is an American story, one that focuses through the Cuban-American lens in a time when the whole world is obsessed with Cuba. In Spanish, subtitled. 2016; 65 min. With an introduction and Q+A session by Director Zuzelin Martin Lynch!

Friday, February 3, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.


Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University


71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends


Information: (848) 932-8482;
www.njfilmfest.com

Jimmy John’s of New Brunswick will be providing free food prior to all New Jersey Film Festival Screenings!

 




Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.



 
Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info




FEATURED EVENTS

ART | COMEDY | DANCE | MUSIC | THEATRE | COMMUNITY


FILM IS DEAD. LONG LIVE FILM! – Online for 24 Hours and In-Person at 7PM!

Friday, May 31, 2024 @ 7:00pm
New Jersey International Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: film

Click here for full description


The Featherweight – Online for 24 Hours and In-Person at 7PM!

Saturday, June 01, 2024 @ 7:00pm
New Jersey International Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: film

Click here for full description


Altona, Shame on You – Online for 24 Hours and In-Person at 5PM!

Saturday, June 01, 2024 @ 5:00pm
New Jersey International Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: film

Click here for full description


Click here for more events

Listings are available for $10 and included with our banner ad packages.

Click here for more info.







 

LATEST NEWS


Two Enthralling Animation Shorts screen at the 2024 New Jersey International Film Festival on Sunday, June 2!

Much like similar filmmaking forms, stop-motion filmmaking requires careful consideration and planning from those who choose to utilize it. The product is a beautiful testament to the film’s story and its makers if done successfully. For the case of the cinematically stunning Tennis, Oranges directed by Sean Pecknold, and enchanting and enthralling Judy’s Garden, directed by Evie Metz, this is incontestably the case.


WWII Documentary "Rohna Classified" Available for Streaming Memorial Day Weekend




2024 Lighthouse International Film Festival Preview




Montclair Film presents the inaugural Montclair Film Summer Showcase


Click here for more event previews







New Jersey Stage

© 2024 by Wine Time Media, LLC
PO Box 811, Belmar, NJ 07719
info@newjerseystage.com

Nobody covers the Arts
throughout the Garden State
like New Jersey Stage!


Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms. If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and on our RSS feed


Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows | Privacy Policy