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Film premiere revisits Cuba’s unrealised National Arts Schools

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[PREVIEW] The UK premiere of Unfinished Spaces, a documentary about Cuba’s ambitious National Arts Schools project, will be screened at Rich Mix, London, on 16 February 2012

In 1961, following the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro decided to transform an exclusive golf course in Havana into ‘the most beautiful academy of arts in the world’.

Three young architects were commissioned to realise this vision; Roberto Gottardi, who designed the School of Theatre, Ricardo Porro, designer of the School of Plastic Arts and the School of Modern Dance, and Vittorio Garratti, who designed the School of Ballet and the School of Music.

Although work began immediately, with some classes being held which attracted the country’s best musicians, artists and dancers, construction work on the site was brought to a halt by Soviet-influenced bureaucrats who deemed the project too ‘bourgeois’ and not in keeping with the spirit of the revolution.

The arts complex remained derelict until forty years later when Castro invited the architects to complete the unrealised project, and Unfinished Spaces, directed by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray, follows the now elderly designers as they seek to achieve the vision they had in the heady period just after the revolution.

Unfinished Spaces (Cuba, 86mins, 2011) Dir. Alysa Nahmias & Benjamin Murray
Premiere on 16 February 2012
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

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