Alejandro Gil states that “La emboscada”(The ambush)–next Cuban film to be premiered in the big screen, with which this filmmaker returns to the cinema– isn’t a war movie though its title may suggest so. About his latest production,the director of the film La pared commented to OnCuba: “In the film the most important thing is the resistance and mode of action of a group of people who are facing a difficult situation, from a human perspective that goes beyond war. Some of the main characters in this movie are interpreted by Patricio Wood, Tomás Cao, Caleb Casas and Armando Miguel Gómez.
Gil affirmed that at first, during the 90’s, the script of La emboscada was prepared for a short fiction film produced by Estudios Cinematográficos de las FAR, today TRIMAGEN, but the Special Period put it to a stop.
“Time went by until I presented the plot to producer and scriptwriter Ernesto Daranas, who said, back then, that the story could be much more than a short fiction film. From that moment on, Daranas devoted himself to the creation of a comprehensive story with different perspectives rather focused on a human approach of the conflict than on the epic. Then years started to add up, almost 12 years, and the text gained in conceptual and dramaturgical maturity.”
What was the inspiration for this film?
It is inspired in life stories, personal experiences and anecdotes of men related to the episodes portrayed in the film. Four men escape from an ambush and their personal stories are revealed from a difficult situation, where the shortage of resources, physical decay and contradictions, bring about unexpected behaviors that jeopardize any chances of survival.
What elements does it have in common with your previous works?And what differentiates it from them?
The difference lies in the subjects, but not so much in conceptual interests. The man is the center of the resonance of his time and environment, the complexities of his behavior in situations that compromise him as social being; always observing his personal dynamic within the conflicts. That’s my commitment, regardless of genres, from my first documentary Piensa en mi (on Jose Marti’s letters to Maria Mantilla), a video clip such as El revolver (made for Geraldo Alfonso), up to Extravios, my last fiction film prior to La emboscada.
Alejandro Gil during the shooting of the film
The greatest challenge of this film, he notes, is to get to the last shooting day having accomplished most of the objectives. About 90% of the scenes for this movie were outdoors. A film with these characteristics is always hard to shoot because our weather conditions are changeable. For instance, the sun is a key element for the dramatic progress of the story; it’s almost another leading character. Without it, it was impossible to move on and in fact he avoided us in multiple occasions. His absence tightened the pressure.
Photos: Adolfo Izquierdo Mesa/Still of the filme
Alejandro Gil during the shooting along with actors Néstor Jiménez and Caleb Casas