News Brief

HBO to Premiere Documentaries on Contemporary Cuba

A pair of documentaries on contemporary Cuba will premiere on HBO just three days after the death of Fidel Castro.

By now, you probably know that Cuba’s longtime revolutionary and former president, Fidel Castro, died Friday at the age of 90. As the world begins to contemplate the life and legacy of this extremely divisive, extremely complex individual, it seems HBO was one step ahead of everyone else. The American television network, rather coincidentally, has a full night of Cuban programming planned for this Monday with the premiere of two original documentaries centered around contemporary Cuba.


The first of the two films is Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death, which looks at the current state of Cuba through the eyes of its artists, activists, bloggers, writers, musicians and everyday people. The 57-minute documentary marks a directorial debut for Spanish actress-turned-director Olatz López Garmendia.

“Forgoing the usual emphases on salsa clubs, dominoes, headstrong women and broken-down American jalopies, the film takes a sharply critical look at day-to-day life in Cuba today,” Remezcla’s Steve Macfarlane said of the film, adding that Garmendia “defies precedent for critiquing the island nation’s lack of public freedoms without denouncing the Castros (or, indeed, communism) outright as the devil incarnate.”

The second of the two documentaries is Jon Alpert's Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution, which looks at Cuba’s LGBT community through the work of Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raúl Castro (and niece of Fidel Castro), as she champions LGBT equality and social reforms in present-day Cuba.

The documentaries premiere on HBO this Monday, November 28th, beginning at 8pm EST with Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death, followed at 9pm EST with Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution. Both films will be available to watch on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

H/T Shadow & Act

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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