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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At the British Embassy

The next day the sun is shining for the reception at the Embassy. It is a huge, stunning, well-kept nineteenth century building in the district known as 'Vedado'. We arrive a few minutes late and the outdoor reception area is already full, buzzing with filmmakers, critics, and writers. Filmmaker Juan Carlos Cremata claims his life changed when he saw YES. A critic says that my films are always ambitious: he makes a gesture with his arm, extending out towards an invisible horizon. Frank says, laughing 'You've saved us from Hollywood'. The Ambassador makes a short appreciative speech. I am glad to discover, later, that this reception is the first such possible event at the British Embassy since relations have worsened between not only the US and Cuba but also with the EU. It seems YES has a diplomatic function.

Overnight a billboard has gone up opposite the US building on the Malecon, graphically protesting the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. In the hotel room - the long curtains billowing in to the dark green room in the wind - we watch as the billboard is reported on CNN as being an anti-religious response to the Christmas decorations with which the US building is festooned. 'I guess they just don't like Christmas lights' says the newsreader.

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SP with British Ambassador John Dew

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