DREAMING THE CUBAN NATION: FERNANDO PEREZ'S MADAGASCAR

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DREAMING THE CUBAN NATION: FERNANDO PEREZ'S MADAGASCAR Powered By Docstoc
					DREAMING THE CUBAN NAT
				
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Description: The binary of real versus imaginary is established from the very beginning of the film, and through the title itself: Madagascar. When [Laurita] tells her mother at the beginning of the film that she no longer plans to attend school, she indicates that she is going to take a break: "me voy para Madagascar." This follows closely after the scene where the grandmother and Laurita's friend, [Molina], work on the pronunciation of the word "Antananarivo," which happens to be the capital city of Madagascar, while Molina very obviously consults a map with a magnifying glass in a "performance" of searching for the named space. All the indicators to this point lead the spectator to conceive of Madagascar in real, physical terms, and especially in its geographical similarity to Cuba itself. Both are relatively poor island nations off the coast of a major continent, linked to the mainland by proximity yet simultaneously isolated from it by a significant body of water that functions as a barrier. At the same time, both are former colonies of European nations in the process of building an authentic and independent national identity. Although Prez acknowledges that for some spectators, and especially some Cuban viewers, the idea of traveling to "Madagascar" might signify a desire to leave the island physically, it was not his original intention to present it as an existing material location. As the filmmaker himself comments in an interview with [Jorge Ruffinelli], Laurita's Madagascar is a mythic site that "para cada espectador podr significar destinos diferentes" (cited in Ruffinelli 2005, 113). He goes on to state that "Para mi, Madagascar es la representacin del viaje no geogrfico, del viaje al interior. Es tambin la ilusin y la posibilidad de empezar siempre otra vez" (cited in Ruffinelli 2005, 113).While [Benedict Anderson], [Homi Bhabha], and Said concentrate on the role of language in narrative or written discourse in their theories, it is clear that their concepts can be
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