No filmmaker living in Cuba has achieved greater worldwide acclaim than Juan Carlos Tabío, but you’d never guess it from talking with him. He is happy to ascribe the astounding success of a film like Strawberry and Chocolate – and, indeed, of his entire movie career – to mere good fortune.
Tabío was born in Havana in 1943. After the Cuban Revolution his parents were preparing him for a career in the diplomatic service. “I became a filmmaker because of a very lucky situation,” he explains in his interview with Havana Cultura. “The woman who ran the ICAIC [the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Arts and Industry] was a friend of my family’s and I went to talk to her.” Tabío started working as a production assistant in 1961 and spent the next four decades of his life as a filmmaker. “If that woman wasn’t a family friend I would have done something else in life. You’re carried on by life, life isn’t carried on by you. You can’t tell where life is going to take you.”
No wonder… read more