2007, 1h, Spanish (also available in titles and subtitles in Italian)
Cruzada in Spanish also means "crossing", "tour".
In 1991, in the midst of harsh economic crisis that followed the disintegration of the Soviet Union, some actors in the province of Guantanamo, the poorest of Cuba, "recycling" their military training, organized an expedition that brings the theatre to the mountain. With mules and tents, shacks and puppets, go on foot to the "zone of silence" between the countryside and villages where it has never seen a show and where there is not even electricity: since then, "Cruzada Teatral" is repeated every year for more than 30 days, starting on January 28, date of birth of Jose Marti, Cuban national hero. As Martí was fond of children, the Cruzada during the day brings the theatre for young people in schools, while in the evening, in squares or other open spaces, it is for audiences of all ages.
I followed for 15 days the 2007 edition: the performances, rehearsals, transfers through the dirt roads or up the rivers, the life in the camps, the accommodation of populations, which in many cases return to the caravan of the actors their theatre. I obtained a video of an hour, that tells an event inside of Cuban civil society, far away from the stereotypes, both tourist and political.
Lost at the last minute collaboration with an Italian "street TV" , I found myself at the end with 2 small digital cameras and I did almost everything by myself, host of the Consejo Nacional de las Artes Escenicas of Cuba and with a contribution from the UILT (Italian Union of Free Theatre).
Video by Paolo Beneventi: La Cruzada Teatral