“Art for the people” collides with market forces in six short portraits of Cuban artists at the vanguard of an evolving nation.
THE FACTORY is a documentary feature revealing the Cuba we don’t know. Iconic cars,
rum and cigars make way for avant-garde music, hipster intellectuals, and a young
middle class hungry for internet, opportunity, and Cuba’s evolution. Manifesting a
life-long dream, X Alfonso, an Afro-Caribbean hip-hop star and artist, seizes the
moment. He creates The Cuban Art Factory, an independently curated, privately run
nightspot where Havana’s youth flock for DJs and find themselves surrounded by art
bordering on subversive. But not everyone is on board. Online, the $2 entry fee
fuels anger. Isn’t art supposed to be free for the people? Others see X as a
government stooge, showcasing a degree of free expression they say doesn’t exist.
And there are rumblings that Cuba may clamp down. With the imminent arrival of
American tourists, cash and commerce, can X’s vision survive?
Part coming of age story, part road movie, part U.S.-Cuba geopolitics. This charming baseball tale, tracks one intrepid 14-year-old’s journey to square his idealism with the messiness of the adult world.