Art film “Time Dead Time Alive”

During 2013 the artist Guston Sundin Kung approached our company to coordinate the production of a film in Cuba. That Film in many ways became more than just a project. It became a journey across identity and culture.

About the film

“The film Time Dead Time Alive is a meditation on the legacy of Elfriede Mahler, an American dance choreographer and one of the founders of Cuba’s modern dance school that sought asylum in Cuba immediately following the revolution in 1959. Memories both personal and historical are recalled through an archive audio interview, reflections from her former students and dance from her still active company Danza Libre based in Guantánamo City. This collective act reconstitutes a woman that is gone but not missing and in the process illuminates the active continuum between life and death.” – Guston Sunding – Kung

This search for the main character of the film Elfriede Mahler took us on a journey through the landscape of one of the most remote provinces of Cuba, Guantánamo. Where she lived most of her time in Cuba and where I discovered a vibrant and colorful culture. Contemporary dance performances, music, tradition, and, most importantly, its people! In Guantánamo, we successfully screened the film in two opportunities collaborating with the local film company Charabia Productions. And one in Havana as part of the Havana Film Festival 2016.

New York screening

The Center for Performing arts of the NYPL at the Lincoln Center invited us to present our film as part of the event “Cuba in Motion: A Day of Cuban Dance Cinema.” The screening was followed by a panel discussion where we had the chance to answer questions from the audience. The film’s reception was interesting since the film is an artwork, not a traditional documentary film—questions to Gus’s script choices and my own experience working with the subject. However, the public reaction was warm and cheerful!

2020 and beyond

Today, many international film festivals and exhibition venues have expressed their interest in this project. The film was also recently exhibited at Image Gallery as part of Guston’s release of a book about the story and his artistic reflections on the process and personal findings.

Photo Below -Director Guston Sundin Kung with Cuban Producer Aliushka Castillo and Abel Alazo (Creativemeaning) -Guantanamo, Cuba 2019


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