The Cuban people have an amazingly strong and unbroken spirit.
Many of the critics today get airline tickets, hotel accommodation, bags, beautiful photographs, gifts and other expenses paid by the distributors, and then are supposed to write serious articles about the movie.
Take opera for example - to go to the opera you have to dress up in a tuxedo and pay lots of money.
Movies are something people see all over the world because there is a certain need for it.
Entertainment today constantly emphasises the message that things are wonderful the way they are. But there is another kind of cinema, which says that change is possible and necessary and it's up to you.
The more opinions you have, the less you see.
Any film that supports the idea that things can be changed is a great film in my eyes.
The culture of independent film criticism has totally gone down the drain and this seems to come with the territory of the consumer age that we are now living in.
But I think that the spirit of protectionism would be the grave of European cinema. You cannot protect something by building a fence around it and thinking that this will help it survive.
In fact, it is amazing how much European films - Italian, French, German and English - have recovered a certain territory of the audience in their countries over the last few years.
Maybe it's the music that enables them to function like that, to always take everything as it comes and never complain about the misery, hardship or injustice.
I've never been anywhere in my life like it and I only really noticed it when I returned to Los Angeles and then Berlin. Everybody is much better off in these places, there is not poverty like in Cuba, but everybody complains about things.
Cinema is a worldwide phenomenon.
Any movie that has that spirit and says things can be changed is worth making.
I'm getting a little bored by the juxtaposition of American and other cinema. I no longer think this division is as true as it might have been in the 1980s, or the early part of the 90s.
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