Just a few years ago, the director Humberto Solas left the world of the living. And as every man who has used the little time of stay which is offered, he bequeathed us a big piece of itself, preserved and reborn every time you play his movies, Lucia, his “Manuela”. Stories that will flutter from mouth to mouth until a voice brings them out and an ear capture them.
It is precisely this fear which forces documentary maker Miguel Torres to make “Humberto Solas Evocations”, which is rather a long report that collects stories of the days of filming of one of the two most important directors of Cuban cinema. "The reality is that there is a generation that is dying. I think the ICAIC has a duty to preserve that memory, so I am very pleased that this project has been well received,” he confessed during the presentation of the film to the press.
In the face of such a complex man as the creator of “Honey for Oshun” you always wonder where to start. It is difficult to achieve in barely 20 minutes of fil to even capture the aesthetic strategies of Solas, which is why Miguel Torres focuses on the shared experience of some key actresses of his filmography.
The woman was one of the objects of this director’s creative obsession, so substantial part of his person that can be described by three of his most famous films: Manuela, Lucia and Cecilia. Miguel Torres focuses on defining them to define Solás as a director and as a human being.
“Humberto Solas: Evocations” collects very emotional testimonies from actresses Adela Legrá, Eslinda Núñez and Daisy Granados. They go over stories any Cuban moviegoer might have heard once, but each story is marked now by the recent death of filmmaker and one can perceive, kind of more stark, the feeling of friendship that united him with these women.
Humberto Solas, beyond certain techniques of directing actors that were in him a constant like improvisation, approaches each of them differently. He knows to become the director they need.
One can notice this fact clearly in … Evocations, because in the editing booth Miguel Torres did not wait to witness the conclusion of the other to start, but interrupts him and develop his story. Thus, there are many Solas alternately and each is shaping the unique idea that the director intended.
Besides the actresses, Torres interviews other members of the Humberto Solas filming crew. Livio Delgado, his director of photography. The anthological editor Nelson Rodríguez, together once more and for more than one reason to Solas. Costume designer María Elena Molinet.
No wonder these personalities appear in a documentary about Solas, which paid special attention to his films to photography, art direction and editing. Each of them described him as a learned man, but especially sensitive, able to carry to the last consequences a bold, but hard to get idea. In each of them you can notice a feeling of deep respect for the director.
The big names do not necessarily leave a trail of friends after the long goodbye. Solas, however, was able to grow alongside his artistic condition, the human one. That is the impression Humberto Solas: Evocations leaves us, ending while we were asking for more.