A Latino gay-themed film will be screened on Thursday, March 2, 6:30 p.m., at the nonprofit Su Teatro Performing Arts Center located at 721 Santa Fe Drive in Denver. Titled “Verde Verde” (Green-Green), the Cuban film is about a sailor and computer technician whose gay flirtation begins in a bar and continues on subsequent occasions at the sailor’s living space and in a maze of corridors linked by an elevator. Although the film depicts some intimate moments between the two men, there are no explicit scenes.
Immediately following the film, Su Teatro’s XicanIndie Film Festival Director Daniel Salazar will facilitate a panel discussion with David Atekpatzin Young (a longtime activist of Apache Indian and Chicano ancestry), David Carrasco (a longtime Chicano actor at Su Teatro), and community elder Donaciano Martinez (a longtime Chicano gay activist). Event organizers are working on having one of the film’s stars, Cuban actor Carlos Miguel Caballero, to join the discussion via the Internet video application called Skype.
With a running time of one hour and 15 minutes, the film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Tickets to the film and panel discussion are $5.00 per person.
“It is a dark and difficult film, not a ‘feel good’ film but still telling a story that can help us as a society (in Cuba and the U.S.) to fight against external and internalized homophobia,” says Debra Gallegos, a longtime Denver-based Chicana actress and a longtime ally of La Gente Unida. She notes that the film premiered in 2012 soon after a rash of gay-related murders in Cuba, which has a long history of being an anti-gay country.
“Verde Verde” was directed by Enrique Pineda Barnet, who obtained the first-ever Oscar nomination for a Cuban film in the category of “Best Foreign Film” in 1991 for his film “Bella del Alhambra.” Although “Verde Verde” has a gay theme, it was not the first Cuban film to deal with the topic. Made in 1994, “Fresa y Chocolate” (Strawberry and Chocolate) was the first Cuban film that had a gay theme — a friendship between a flamboyant gay artist and a straight man working for Cuba’s communist government.
Founded in 1990, La Gente Unida is a Denver-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit group whose purpose is to educate the public about issues of concern to Chicano/a and other Latino/a gay, lesbian, bi and trans people. An all-volunteer group with no paid staff, La Gente Unida provides: speakers for classes and other public forums; periodic lobbying on legislation and ballot initiatives; a referral network about resources in the community; and, a monthly newsletter sent to hundreds of people.