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Together with Africadelic and Caribbean Creativity we present the Dutch premiere of Lazaro and the Shark: Cuba Under the Surface. The screening is hosted in celebration and commemoration of the Cuban struggle for independence and will include an introduction about Cuba's past, present and future. "There has been no other film, produced either in or outside Cuba, that goes as deep into the fascinating underground of the most African Cuban cities, Santiago de Cuba."
In Santiago de Cuba, rival conga bands scour the sparse marketplace for materials to create show-stopping numbers for the annual Carnival competition. In this film, documentary maker William Sabourin O'Reilly, an Afro-Cuban native to Havana who hasn't lived in his home country for 17 years (he is now based in New Orleans), follows Lázaro, the leader of the Conga de Los Hoyos, who is determined to beat 'the Shark', his older and more establishment-favored competitor. Tensions build and tempers flare as the government restrictions and scarcity of present-day Cuba come to bear on one of the world’s poorest Carnivals. Lazaro and the Shark offers us a rare window into communist Cuba, a country that is often romanticized, and almost always portrayed through the eyes of an outsider.