Still aus 'Die Bastion' Still aus 'Die Bastion' Still aus 'Die Bastion'

The Bastion

Germany 2012 | ca 90 min | currently in production

Director: Ingmar Trost
Cinematographer: Thomas Bergmann

On 19th April 2011 Playa Girón has commemorated the successful abatement of the Bay of Pigs Invasion for the 50th time. It was the first and last military attempt to overthrow the young Cuban regime. Next to the revolution itself, this historic victory is probably the second most important event for the Cuban revolutionary mythology and essential for the regime and its die-hard slogans. Back then, on 17th April 1961 around 1.500 Cuban exiles – trained and equipped by the USA – landed in the Bay of Pigs in order to set an end to Fidel Castro‘s communist terror. They met their Waterloo: After only three days the invasion was over and the intruders were either dead or taken hostage. The revolution had won a second time – and Playa Girón, a small village at the mouth of the Bay of Pigs, became the epitome of the fight between the Cuban David and the imperialistic Goliath USA.

The documentary follows the countdown up until the festivities for the 50th anniversary and observes how life in Playa Girón dabbles along and how the village prepares itself for the big event. The build-up to the big event may be the backdrop as well as the backbone of the story. However, “The Bastion” is, above all, a film about the place Playa Girón and the people who live there. The documentary raises questions about the self-image of Cuban people and a possible post-socialist future – in a country in which the political and social reality have long been far away from the rallying cries of the revolution repeated over and over again, a country which is instead determined by increasing disillusionment and a lack of perspectives. How will people‘s mentality change? And what about the structure of society, the almost strange feeling of security in the streets, the illogicalness and untruthfulness of the communist ideal, the unmistakable mixture of hopelessness and defiant happiness. Will Cuba become a tourist destination just like any other country? And who dares to say whether this will be a blessing or a curse?

“The Bastion” is a film of humble accounts and low-key observations, a film of small stories that tell much about this unique island in the Caribbean – about its history and possible future, about its soul and the hopes of a new generation. By strictly limiting the observation to the microcosmos that is Playa Girón it reveals a facet of Cuban life and society on the verge of fundamental change rarely to be seen.