Replica of the cap of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, commissioned to be made in bronze by Roberto Chile. Photo: Yaimi Ravelo/Resumen Latinoamericano.
The space Con luz propia of the Fidel Castro Center had as a guest this week the renowned Cuban filmmaker and photographer Roberto Chile.
Disciple of Korda, Corrales and Salas; Chile is a man who, along with many other artists, is part of the iconography of the Revolution in its genesis.
The small room of the Fidel Center became intimate before the anecdotes of the soldier with a camera at the ready who accompanied the Commander everywhere, through all of Fidel's routes.
On the roads of the Sierra, through the cities, through the factories, through all the corners that the historical leader visited during the revolutionary process.
"When I look at the audience, there are essentially friends of mine, colleagues who live and who definitely know part of my work and also many of them had the privilege of sharing with Fidel," said the creator of the lens at the presentation of an unpublished filmography as a tribute to the seventh anniversary of Fidel's physical disappearance.
La Escolta is an unpublished short film that honors the men who protected the Comandante, with whom Roberto Chile strengthened ties due to the particularities of his profession.
"They helped me and I took care of them, they took me out of a commotion and put me in front so I could film," Chile said.
This was the first presentation of material that had never come to light, as evidenced by Fidel's meeting with his closest staff a few days after falling ill.
"They belong to me and to a certain extent I belong to them," Fidel's words that protect Chile's graphic testimony, describe Fidel's close bond with his bodyguard family. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you," Fidel expresses in this beautiful and brief documentary to the men who accompanied him for much of his revolutionary life.
Robero Chile recalled the arrival of the boy Elián to Cuba as one of the most important moments of his career, his camera was the only one authorized to document this historical fact in the great battle of ideas that was being waged at that time.
Roberto Chile during a meeting at the Fidel Castro Center. Photo: Yaimi Ravelo/Resumen Latinoamericano.
The filmmaker recounted Fidel's request to make a one-and-a-half-hour documentary about this event. The Commander was informed that, according to Chile, the material would not be enough time to be projected in the space of the Round Table.
Fidel arrives at a protocol house where Chile was filming the boy playing, approaches him, touches him on the shoulder and asks:
"They told me that you say that this doesn't take an hour and a half," Fidel questioned.
"Yes, Commander, one hour; an hour and a half doesn't give it," Chile responds.
"Perfect, the other half hour was covered by two comrades and you at the table," Fidel solves.
Chile described this task as the most difficult assigned to it by the Comandante. The humble artist of Cuban photography exceeds shyness in front of the cameras and recognitions, qualities that bring him closer to all generations of photographers on the island.
In the space Con luz propia with Roberto Chile as a guest, another moment of impact was when he describes the physical disappearance of Fidel from human closeness and profession.
He was given the well-deserved duty of accompanying Fidel until the last moment.
"I wanted to go in the caravan to Santiago, I had a moral obligation to be with him until that last moment."
"The trajectory lasted seven days, we slept about 3 hours a day, the crowd was not summoned, the cell phones lit up at night and the cry of all the people saying 'I am Fidel'. We felt the revolutionary enthusiasm present, at that moment he showed that men are useful even after death, because he united an entire country in a single cause, which is the Revolution," Chile recalled.
The space was emotional: anecdotes and moving audiovisual materials. Photo: Yaimi Ravelo/Resumen Latinoamericano.
Fidel's imprint on this noble-hearted man transcends time and borders after death.
In one of his most recent documentaries "Sacha, a child from Chernobyl", made together with Cuban journalist Maribel Acosta, produced by the Argentine media accredited in Cuba Resumen Latinoamericano, he had the opportunity to travel to Chernobyl and film Olga. The Ukrainian mother seen in the archive images exchanging her cap with Fidel's when she arrived in Cuba so that her son could receive treatment along with the thousands of children who recovered in Tarará.
"We went to Olga's house, she had her cap hooked up there – Fidel's – she gave us great human warmth, she cried and greeted us," Chile said.
"He told us that he had seen that image on television that circulated everywhere, it was very emotional to see that woman 30 years later or even more, keeping a cap with that signature that was barely seen. But this woman said it was one of the most exciting moments she experienced in her entire life.
"And there's Fidel, it's the mark he leaves on the people."
May the human work of Chile serve to pay tribute to all the men and women of Fidel.
(Taken from Latin American Summary)