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Yesterday the news broke that James Franco would be Fidel Castro in ‘Alina of Cuba’, an independent film centered on an illegitimate daughter of the late Cuban dictator. Ana Villafañe will be in charge of interpreting the main character, Alina Fernández. It is also known that Mía Maestro will be Natalia Revuelta, a Cuban celebrity who had an affair with Castro that ended up creating Alina. The film will follow the life of this unacknowledged daughter of the Cuban dictator who defected from her country and arrived in Spain in 1993, becoming one of the most critical voices against the island’s communist government. ‘Alina of Cuba’ is directed by the Spaniard Miguel Bardem, with a script written by José Rivera and Nilo Cruz.
Although Alina Fernández herself, who works as producer and biographical consultant for her own biopic, has personally approved Franco (the actor, not the other dictator) as Castro, the first and predictable criticisms of Latin Hollywood against Castro have not been long in appearing. casting. The most energetic has been that of John Leguizamo.
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How does this keep happening? How is it that Hollywood excludes us but also steals our narratives? No more Hollywood grabs and platforms! Boycott! This is fucked! Also, it’s a very difficult story to tell without exaggerating, which would be wrong! I have nothing against Franco, but he is not Latino!
John Martinez O’Felan, producer of the tape, has responded through The Hollywood Reporter to Leguizamo.
Historically, Hispanics have looked up to John Leguizamo as one of the first American actors of Latino descent since the 1990s and have always looked up to him as a peer. But his comments are culturally uneducated and a blind attack without substance related to this project. The reality of the message of ignorance falls within his statement that suggests his personal view of being ‘Latino’, because a land mass or area of residence does not determine a person’s blood history or genetics. Leguizamo’s post is a great topic of conversation because they represent the same confusion and identity crisis in Hollywood right now within the Hispanic community in the United States who argue that we should only identify as Latino, which is mainly due to the falsehoods they spread. the actors who are supposed to represent us, but instead create division among their own people. I think he should put himself behind and also recognize that this story is about a Latina immigrant living in the United States and it’s historically significant, it’s about a Latina woman and I’m just an independent who’s getting something done, so it should also be understood that he is a bit disappointed to see our work attacked by someone claiming to be a leader of the Latino community.
Although the producer’s defense has strong points, such as the fact that most of the cast and crew are Latino, he fails to provide any argument that justifies the choice of James Franco in what is undoubtedly the most colorful role in the production. . Logically, behind this decision there is the decision to bring a well-known and American face, a requirement that is often essential to obtain financing. For this very reason, Leguizamo told People in 2020:
We are less than 1% of the stories told by Hollywood, the media and streaming platforms when we are almost 20% of the population, and 25% of the US box office. I feel like it’s a huge disservice to children not be reflected positively.
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