As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
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El Norte: An Ill Wind?

Our Man In Havana

Breakfast at the Hotel Nacional

The Riviera

At the British Embassy

Soy Cuba

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The Riviera

That night we set off for the 'Riviera', the famous art deco cinema, where YES is to be seen for the second time. The taxi driver misunderstands our instructions and drives to the 'Riviera Hotel', the perfectly preserved fifties masterpiece where the gangster and casino owner Meyer Lansky lived before the revolution. The chair where he used to sit in his suite, looking out at the blue ocean, is still there, though the room has decayed a little.

We arrive at the cinema just after the film has started, so I have missed the moment to give an introduction. It feels strange to come so far and then not be able to give myself to the audience in this way. I decide to speak at the end and to answer some questions. Everyone is tired, it is very late, but I am happy to have been there. Again, the main puzzlement is: Why Cuba? It seems some of them feel I am romanticising their country. I try to explain its role in the film, and why Cuba, despite its contradictions and difficulties, is still a symbol of something important for people like the Auntie in the story; a place that puts people before profit. In the lobby a woman comes up with a quote from Godard: 'Cinema takes us towards the light'.

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The lobby of the Hotel Riviera

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Balcony, Hotel Riviera

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The right Riviera, the Riviera cinema

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Filmmaker Juan Carlos Cremata

Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated