Go Cuba! - Bongó Itá
In conspiracy stories, Abakuá is associated with child robbery and cannibalism, so it is about time that the secrecy surrounding this religious brotherhood is lifted. Realized in collaboration with World Cinema Amsterdam/GO CUBA!, this documentary offers a unique insight into a subculture rarely letting in outsiders.
Abakuá has its origins in colonial Cuba in the early 19th century, when slave trade victims founded secret brotherhoods, following the example of societies that regulated social life in their countries of origin in West Africa. By organizing themselves thus, they were better protected from exploitation; also freed members could help their fellow members regain their freedom. Members and non-members highlight the position and significance of Abakuá in Cuban society today in interviews, while images of celebrations with music, incense, masked dancing and actual blood sacrifices show that this symbol of resistance is still alive and kicking after two centuries of oppression and vilification.
MAYCKELL PEDRERO (1975, Cuba) graduated in cinematography from the ISA in Havana and then worked at renowned animation production lab ICAIC. His second film Revolution premiered at IDFA and won awards including the Grand Prize at the 9th Festival of Young Filmmakers in Havana. Supported by World Cinema Amsterdam’s GO CUBA! Fund 2020, Bongó itá world premieres at WCA.