West Shore Community College opens Humankind’s mini-film series, Movies at the Vogue, with the movie “Before Night Falls,” on Oct. 15, 7 p.m., at the Vogue Theatre in Manistee. A discussion about the film will follow the screening.
The film is based on an autobiography by Cuban writer and playwright Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), an early sympathizer of Fidel Castro, but later a critic of Castro and the 1959 revolution.
Featuring Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp, the movie traces Arenas’ childhood, his move to Havana in the 1960s, his problems with the law for his sexuality and his art, his exodus out of Cuba in 1980, and his death in 1990.
An exhibit, “Cuban Posters from Politics & Films,” will open Oct. 10, and close on Dec. 6, at the college’s Manierre Dawson Gallery.
On Nov. 7, at 7 p.m., at the college, Elisa Shoenberger, owner of the collection and an historian based in Chicago, will discuss how these posters reflect the rich visual language of graphic design and reveal some of the production challenges that their makers faced in Cuba. She’ll also share how she obtained the posters through special permits from the Cuban government.
Political scientist Yvon Grenier will explore the realities of being an artist in post-Castro Cuba, on Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. While anticipation was great about the opportunities for artistic freedom, reality hasn’t quite lived up to the expectation. But, as Grenier will argue, its suppression isn’t always the fault of those in governmental positions.
The Grammy-nominated Pedrito Martinez Group will perform Afro-Cuban music and more on Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m., at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee. Martinez was born in Havana, but now lives in New York. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting. A part of WSCC’s Performing Arts Series, tickets are required for the event.
A second movie at the Vogue, “Tocando la Luz (Touch the Light)” will wrap up the fall semester portion of the series at 7 p.m., on Nov. 12. The movie tells the stories of three blind women as they attempt to navigate social support systems in modern Cuba. While they often feel lost on their individual journeys, each one ultimately finds herself. In doing so, each reveals deeper aspects of Cuba’s contemporary life and culture.
All Humankind events, except the Pedrito Martinez Group concert, are free and open to the public. The series is underwritten by the WSCC Student Senate, the Michigan Council for Arts and Culture, and the Michigan Humanities Council.
Additional sponsors and venue hosts include the WSCC Performing Arts Series, the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, the Vogue Theatre Manistee, Pentwater Township Library, and Mason County Libraries, both Ludington and Scottville.
Follow the series at Facebook.com/humankindWSCC and humankindWSCC.org. Emails can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the series, contact Brooke Portmann, Dean of Arts and Sciences, at email@example.com or 231-843-5866.