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‘Cuba’ — Film explores the island’s unique heritage

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
‘Cuba’ — Film explores the island’s unique heritage
Still from the film "Cuba."

The Museum of Science on Feb. 15 debuted its latest IMAX film offering, “Cuba,” a 50-minute peek into the vibrant culture of the Caribbean island. The film was produced specifically for the giant screen format by Golden Gate 3D in association with BBC Earth, Giant Screen Films and the Giant Dome Theater Consortium.

The Museum of Science’s 180-degree dome screen is one of the few in the country that will show the film.

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“We are thrilled to bring “Cuba” to the Mugar Omni Theater, transporting our visitors to meet a panorama of faces and personalities on the Caribbean’s largest island,” said Robin Doty, manager of the Omni and 4D Theater at the museum, in a release. “We seek out films that highlight the diversity of the world around us, including cultures, the arts, technological and scientific advancements and more.”

The film threads information about Cuba’s history and culture through three different story lines. One follows Patricia Torres Diaz, a young ballet dancer hoping to land a highly sought-after spot in the Cuban National Ballet Company. Another follows Eusebio Leal, city historian of Havana, in his life’s work to preserve the unique architecture and history of the capital city. Lastly, viewers learn about the work of Fernando Bretos, a marine biologist, and Dr. Daria Siciliano, a marine scientist. The duo is studying Cuba’s coral reefs, which have thrived and grown while other reefs worldwide die out.

These storylines ground the film in the human experience while also explaining why the island is such a unique ecosystem and cultural melting pot. “Cuba” doesn’t delve into the political challenges the country has encountered, but it also doesn’t sugarcoat the country’s past. Instead, Director Peter Chang illustrates how economic challenges have created a distinctive resourcefulness and resilience in the island’s residents. Cuba’s economic challenges have even contributed to the unique ecosystem that Bretos and Siciliano are studying.

“It’s the architecture, the large unspoiled swaths of land and the cities. Cuba is so unique and fascinating. A world unto itself,” says Chang. “Seeing the landscapes and the cityscapes on this large canvas will make people realize what’s there, just 90 miles from our border.”

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