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Deciding to work with David Maysles


Filming Fidel Castro
Albert Maysles Film-maker
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So he reads the telegram and then asks if I'd like the translation. Of course I say- please. Your State Department has just broken off relations with Cuba. Well, as these things go, you know, you make a film and there's no end to your relationship with the people who are in the film. And so the film was made, you know, almost 50 years ago, but I still remember Fidel and he might remember me because of that scene, perhaps, more than anything else. Anyway, I've written him a letter describing that scene and saying that I'd like to come back to Cuba and to spend more time with him; and of course this time without having to fear that the camera is going to run out because I'll have a little tape that'll run for an hour without- without having to stop to reload, and a camera that'll be so sensitive to light- the one I now possess- that I won't have to use any lights. I'll be- and I'll even be able to be alone with Fidel when that opportunity comes. When- hopefully I'm with him when he gets that other telegram saying that Mr. Kerry has changed relations with Cuba to the effect that it's okay, that we'll renew relations with Cuba, as we should have done long ago.

Albert Maysles (1926-2015) known for his important documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, pioneered the documentary style known as Direct Cinema. He helped create techniques still widely used in modern documentary production, as well as many of the techniques used in reality TV.

Listeners: Rebekah Maysles Tamara Tracz Sara Maysles

Rebekah Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is an artist living between New York and Philadelphia. She has her own line of clothing, Blackberryrose, and co-runs the store Sodafine in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, a vintage and handmade store that sells clothing, books and other products made by artists.

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Sara Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is currently doing her BA in East Asian Studies at Columbia University, and working as an Archivist of the photographs and photographic material at Maysles Films Inc., Albert‚s film production company. She spent ten months out of two years working with Tibetan refugees at a center in Nepal, and continues to travel back and forth between America and Asia.

Tags: Cuba, Fidel Castro

Duration: 1 minute, 55 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008