Gloria Makes Films
Interview in "Women," Havana, 1996
In making the documentary "Oggun: The Eternal Presence," film director Gloria Rolando skirts the edges of enchantment, enters Yoruba philosophy, and, especially, pays homage to the singer Lazaro Ros, one of the most important personalities in our culture.
In Oggun, Gloria relates the patakin or mythical story of Oggun, the tireless warrior who, enamored of his mother, decided as punishment to imprison himself in the mountains: only Ochun, goddess of love, succeeded in captivating him when she let fall a few drops of honey on the lips of the god of metal, war, progress, and civilization. This film of 55 minutes includes chants, dances, a "tambor" (Yoruba religious ceremony with the bata drums), and the experiences of Ros, who not only made his the beauty of the African chants, but had the opportunity to sing them in trips throughout the world. The noted "apwong" works incessantly to preserve the lore and transmit it to the younger generations.
Roots and Culture
Many stories live around and in Gloria that are now only sketches, projects, because there is no doubt that this woman creator is in full possession of techniques and esthetics and knows how to tell stories. She does so from inside their essence and through the presence of our historic and cultural roots. For this, in Oggun is the aroma of the eternal, the human poetry of those who have given life to the Cuban nation, sap and light, blood and spirit, voices far and yet near of ancestors who left us a way of being.
To take on the rescue of this heritage, as others have done, and to continue this direction has been a constant motivation for this movie maker. Gloria submerges herself in this universe not with a cold look at what attracts only by being unknown, or seeking the externals of the folklore, in her weighs a feeling of love, which brings her to express, availing herself of images with sound, all the authenticity of the black race, which, side by side with the white, has given us our own face.
Within the fiction genre, she has had varied experiences as assistant director. We can talk of "No hay sabado sin sol," by Manuel Herrera, "Maluala," by Sarge Giral, and "Habanera, by Pastor Vega, but her main interest for now is in the documentary as a means of taking on reality, investigating, interpreting, and mobilizing. She believes firmly in the expressive powers of this genre, sometimes undervalued, which nevertheless can touch deeply the inner fibers of the viewer and establish an enriching relationship as well as an unfolding of reflection and critical analysis on various questions.
I am Gloria
This Habanera, with the head of an African queen, has a great light in her eyes. She has traveled from north to south with her documentary on Oggun, and her words have been heard in important universities.
Sara: another dream
One of Glorias dearest longings is a documentary on Sara Gomez, a movie maker who is all of a legend. Gloria has already written the script of this work because she feels the urgency of it: Sarita, plagued by her asthma, with her words, her moving human images marks our cinema.
Gloria Rolando intends to rescue zones and personalities from our popular culture, tearing away the mist of oblivion which even now surround deeds and people. After "Oggun: el eterno presente," which has received such a good reception from critics as well as the public, she is putting herself into an ambitious project: a documentary on Sara Gomez, for which she is hoping to get financial support.
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