Juan Of The Dead, Most Popular Film in Havana´s 33rd LatAm Film Fest
December 12, 2011
The Cuban film Juan de los muertos (Juan of the dead) by director Alejandro Brugues was voted as most popular in Havana´s 33rd International Film Festival of New Latin American Cinema. (Editor’s note: Check our interview with the director here)
Some 5,000 votes confirm that Cuba´s first story about zombies attracted many movie goers, many more than Argentina´s Un cuento chino, also a favorite among the contenders.
Alfredo Guevara, president of the event, said at Sunday´s closing address that the goal of art is totally revolutionary and called to create a Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in this avenue to foster audiovisual unity able to cope with imperial banality while knitting a culture of resistance, refering to the Metropolis that invaded and colonized the Americas.
Guevara proposed to convene workshops for the 2012 edition to rethink the Southern Cone, Mexico and Cuba and expand and develop a defense of regional multiple identity.
At the closing Gala, the International School of Cinema and Television of San Antonio de los Banos was awarded a Coral of Honor on its 25th anniversary, a period in which it trained 736 pros., including several award winners from Havana´s event.
Juan is 40 years old, most of which he spent in Cuba doing absolutely nothing. It’s his way of life, and he’s prepare to defend it at any cost, along with his pal Lázaro, as lazy as Juan but twice as dumb. Juan’s only emotional tie is his daughter, Camila, a beautiful young girl that doesn’t want anything to do with her father because the only thing he’s good at is getting into trouble.
Suddenly some strange things start to happen, people are turning violent attacking one to the other. Juan was first convinced it’s just another stage of the Revolution. Official media refer to the attacks as isolated incidents provoked by Cuban dissidents paid by the US government. Little by little Juan and his friends start to realize that the attackers are not normal human beings and that killing them is quite a difficult task. They’re not vampires, they’re not possesed, but they’re definitely not dissidents; a simple bite turns the victim into other violent killing machine and the only way to beat them is destroying their brains. Juan decides that the best way of facing the situation is making some money out of it…..
“Juan of the Dead, we kill your beloved ones” becomes his slogan. Lázaro, along with his son Vladi, and Camila (who had no other choice but joining her father after he rescued her from grandma´s killing desires) are Juan´s army, and their mission is to help people get rid of the infected ones around… at a reasonable price.
But this plague of bloodthirsty attackers is out of control. The population is helpless. There comes a moment in which the only way out people found is throwing into the sea and try to run away from an island that became a real carnage, and Juan has no choice but to do what he avoided all his life: take some responsibility assuming a hero role, to guide his beloved ones with the hope of getting them safe out of the madness in which Havana, full of flesh eating zombies has turned.