side of the moon
By RAÚL MENCHACA
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann
|AIDS is one of the themse dealt with in the Cuban telenovela La Cara Oculta de la Luna (The Dark Hidden Side of the Moon.)|
AIDS is one of the topics of Cuban soap opera La cara oculta de la Luna (The hidden side of the moon).
The soap opera La cara oculta de la Luna (The hidden face of the moon) has cranked up public opinion in the country because of its dealing with issues hardly ever covered by national television, such as AIDS, dissipated sex lives, homosexuality or lack of communication between parents and children.
Made by Rafael ‘Cheíto’ González, Roberto Puldón and Virgen Tabares, this serial triggered passionate reactions, either in favor of or against it, since it was released almost two months ago and gave rise to home and even street debates that the media started to cover.
La cara oculta... is still going through the second of at least four parallel stories focused on several people who caught AIDS in various ways, though it’s already required discussion at every corner.
Putting aside its making and even the acting performed by renowned Cuban figures, I am only stressing on the values of open debate in the interests of clarifying our collective conscience regarding individual responsibility.
This soap opera has undeniably paved the way as no other ever did in Cuba for widespread defensive reflections on quite dissimilar points of view, being branded as ‘a serial for pussies’ as often as it has been sanctified as ‘the best national TV program yet’.
Hence the artistic deed’s greatest achievement: opening a space for controversy and thus setting social thinking in motion by making us all ponder over something which goes beyond getting as painfully tragic a disease as AIDS.
Behind the public exposure of the drama imposed today by HIV, an exchange of opinions and viewpoints flares up on intolerance, selfishness, misunderstanding, disrespectfulness and lack of communication among people, the ultimate indications of a society’s direction..
Only by means of individual thoughts which pervade social collectivity can the problems brought to light by La cara oculta… be understood. The approach to these issues proves that sometimes we need more common sense, honesty, integrity and humanism among people, regardless of any sexual orientation or how ingenuously dazzling our children may be.
Confrontation between opposing views in a society that is still markedly machista despite the film Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate) will have no choice but to provide a favorable parity to Cuba’s social structure, within which are many stories similar to those we see in this TV series and as many still to be exposed and publicly discussed.
Not talking about a phenomenon doesn’t mean it’s not there, so it’s essential that our media, as another vehicle of artistic expression, address issues of public concern without dodging in the face of debate by being strait-laced and averting our eyes.
A society which recognizes itself on TV and is sufficiently mature and qualified to air its problems in public, will no doubt lead to higher stages. Such is the purpose of this serial which has unleashed the demons and angels of discussion, which is, after all, the visible side of the moon.