Hanne-Lovise’s seeing five films today, whereas I’ve only seen one in the whole film festival: Comandante, Oliver Stone’s 100 minute film of his 30 hour interview with Fidel Castro. It was a great movie, though god knows I’m sure they’re all liars, the lot of em, but it was an interesting film to watch on a human and a political level. What fascinated me most wasn’t political but linguistic: the three languages of the film as I saw it were so interwoven. Castro spoke Spanish that was simultaneously translated into Norwegian subtitles with his interpreter’s English translation sounding softly in the background a few seconds afterwards.

Actually, language is political. Norwegians presenting papers at international conferences are often more scared of speaking in English than of presenting their work to an audience. Castro lacked a proficient Russian-Spanish interpretor in the Cuban crisis, and according to him in this interview, linguistic misunderstandings rather than intention lay behind the idea that Cuba wanted to strike first in a nuclear attack, which almost led to war. Experiencing three languages moving together rather than one dominating the others was wonderful.

I think Castro was wearing Nikes! Or perhaps that was just a swoosh-shaped stain on the toe of his sneaker.

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