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Feature Documentary ‘Esto es lo que Hay’ Makes USA Premiere at First Look Festival (On Cuba’s Controversial Hip-Hop Group)

Feature Documentary 'Esto es lo que Hay' Makes USA Premiere at First Look Festival (On Cuba's Controversial Hip-Hop Group)

The schedule for New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image’s fifth annual First Look Festival, which runs January 8 through 24, 2016, screening roughly 50 films over three weekends, includes French filmmaker Léa Rinaldi’s feature documentary, “Esto es lo que Hay” which we first profiled on this blog in 2012 when it was still a work-in-progress. 

The Museum of the Moving Image screening will be the film’s USA premiere.

In the film, through Los Aldeanos’ daily life (the most popular and contesting hip-hop group of Cuba), “Esto es lo que Hay” draws an intimate and modern portrait of the new artistic and cybernetic revolution of the island, at the time of the old Castro regime transition. 

Los Aldeanos, initially an underground hip-hop group based in Havana, Cuba, was formed in 2003, and is made up of El Aldeano and El B. The group is famous for its “Rap Cubano” urgent style of hip-hop that’s conscious of the social, political, and economical problems that have aggravated Cuban society.

They are said to be unabashedly vocal about their anti-status quo stance, and criticism of the Cuban government.

Los Aldeanos are also said to be one of many underground hip-hop bands that oppose the rising popularity of Reggaeton in Cuba, and openly condemn it, calling it “unconscious and negative music that detracts Cuban society from the ailments that continue to afflict society and instead focuses attention on the pleasurable acts of self-indulgence and dance.”

It’s interesting that the film makes its premiere in the USA a year after the USA officially began to normalize relations with the country. 

It screens next week Friday, January 15 at 7pm, with director Léa Rinaldi present for a Q&A afterward.

All screenings take place in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, New York. Advance tickets are available online at http://movingimage.us/firstlook

The film will also kick off the 2016 edition of the Museum’s “Made You Look: Documenting the Art, History, Power, and Politics of Hip-Hop Culture” 2016 series.

For the full schedule for the Museum of the Moving Image’s fifth annual First Look Festival, running January 8 to January 24, 2016, visit movingimage.us/firstlook.

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