The Caterpillar and The Butterfly tells a story about life in fast-changing Cuba through fierce rivalries, sharp generational conflicts and the suspense of competition. It uses La Conga, the quintessential Carnival tradition in Santiago de Cuba and the journey offive men battling for a slice of Carnival glory, as a fresh way to see into that nation’s deepest complexities. Thefilm manages to beautifully present not only the roots and continued annual rebirth of the Carnival tradition, but also faithfully depict the trials of living in contemporary Cuba.
“There has been no other film, produced either in or outside Cuba, that goes as deep into the fascinating underground of the most African of Cuban cities, Santiago de Cuba.”
This story takes us out of Havana and brings the viewer to life in Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of Caribbean culture on the island, thus allowing the audience to appreciate the racial, cultural and social diversity of this fascinating country. The documentary gives voice to a sector of the population often ignored by the international media.
The Caterpillar and The Butterfly is a window into the ex perience of living in Cuba through the last two decades, using a rich backstory for all the characters upon which to build the different plots and dramatic moments in thelm. The story is character driven, with no narration and virtu- ally no talking heads, so it will use the character’s voices as voice-over only when necessary as part of a narrative device. Most scenes are captured cinema veirté style, as this story moves beyond Carnival contests. It explores the context in which these men prepare all year for