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Film Review: Santa & Andres Shows Political Revolutions Are NOT For Everyone

Political Revolutions do not happen for everyone. The irony of revolutions is that they rise on the backs of poorer men, who eventually become the richer ones of a new institution. Catch my drift? The tragedy of revolutionaries is that they can very easily fall into the role of “new, bad guy” because they did not see that all must rise together, not a few. I make this point because Santa & Andres is the tale of how the Cuban Revolution rose with the idea of a “Better, Freer Cuba”, but failed to include its LGBT community. Thus, asking the question; if some are left behind, can you truly praise yourself in saying “All have move forward?”.

The remarkableness of Santa & Andres is that it is “unremarkable”. It is set in the high mountains of Cuba that most of us will never see, even if we vacation to this historically dynamic island, and centers around two people we would not look upon: poor dreamers. The film is surrounds the growing, but frustrating bond of Santa (played by Lola Amores) and Andres (played by Eduardo Martinez), whom, at first, feel they have nothing in common, only find that anyone with unrequited dreams and unresolved desires shares similar ground: pain. Their is a core, universality to humanity that bonds us despite all “ideological problems”, which is something Andres has been deemed to have. Martinez plays the gay intellectual with a brilliance and wrathful hurt that makes you want to pluck him out of 1983 Cuba. He seems so beyond the era and place, which might be why he is locked away in it. Human beings usually hide their sins, even if it comes in the form of a perceived “sinner”/ human being. To hide off a person because who they are makes you uncomfortable is the true sin, but Santa shows you do not have to be a political prisoner to be a systemic one.

Amores makes Santa seem like a quiet tsunami. At first sight, she may seem like an ignorant, “campesina” with a heart as narrow as her mind. She is the emblem of every ploy/person a political despot uses to torture and “keep in line” those they deem “culturally undesirable” to the nation’s future. Yet, the point of Santa & Andres is to show that the most uncommon share spiritual tumult, especially in the form of loneliness. Even the worst person, at one point, wanted the best of love. Thus, the minute you know pain and love then you know everyone. This notion helps you peer into their idealogical fights like you are watching the incarnation of Socrates, and jotting down points and counter-points to conversations. Directed by Carlos Lechuga Santa & Andres is deeply impactful in its simplicity and verbosity. Based on a story by Eliseo Altunag ,all you have to do is meet Santa & Andres to travel into the warring world of human existence. Santa & Andres Comes Out November 10.