Written by Abel Alazo

"Time Dead Time Alive" - An art documentary film by Guston Sondin-Kung

Supported by Creativemeaning in the production coordination, screening and presentation in Cuba and New York
During 2013 the artist Guston Sundin Kung approach me to help him to coordinate the production of a film in Cuba. That Film in many ways became more than just a project. It became a journey across my own identity and culture.
About the film
"The film Time Dead Time Alive is a meditation on the legacy of Elfriede Mahler, an American dance choreographer and one of the founders of Cuba's modern dance school that sought asylum in Cuba immediately following the revolution in 1959. Memories both personal and historical are recalled through an archive audio interview, reflections from her former students and dance from her still active company Danza Libre based in Guantánamo City. This collective act reconstitutes a woman that is gone but not missing and in the process illuminates the active continuum between life and death." - Guston Sunding - Kung
This search for the main character of the film Elfriede Mahler took us to a journey through the landscape of one of the most secluded provinces of Cuba, Guantánamo. Where she lived most of her time in Cuba, and where I discovered a vibrant and colourful culture. Contemporary dance performances, music, tradition, and the most important of all its people! In Guantánamo we successfully screened the film in two opportunities in collaboration with the local film company Charabia Productions. And one in Havana as part of Havana Film Festival 2016.

New York screening
The Center for Performing arts of the NYPL at the Lincoln Center invited our film to be screened as part of the event "Cuba in Motion: A Day of Cuban Dance Cinema". The screening was followed by a panel discussion where we had the chance to answer questions from the audience. The reception of the film was interesting since the film is an art work, not a traditional documentary film. Questions where directed to Gus script choices and to my own experience working with the subject. Though the public reaction was warm and positive!

We are currently in talks with other festivals and exhibitions venues that have expressed interest on our project. The film was also recently exhibited at Image Gallery as part of the release of a book written by Guston about the story and its own artistic reflections on the process and personal findings.
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