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Cuban singer songwriter Silvio Rodriguez A Man on Deck
Without formal displays or unnecessary over-elaboration, the film reveals a spontaneous, mature, and anti-dogmatic Silvio reuniting with some of the men who accompanied him on that journey. The documentary features references to the compositions made in those years, complex for the musician and for many of us, of irreverent reaffirmations, occasionally misinterpreted.

Without nostalgia or bitterness for lack of understanding, Silvio gives us a fresco of the hard years in which he inaugurated a new way of approaching musical and literary creation on the basis of a commitment, both with himself and the Revolution, which he always felt a part of.

Myths about the reasons he decided to work in the fishing industry for four months are dispelled in this documentary. The film also reveals very little known aspects of the career of a poet and musician that carved out, without making any concessions, a space that places him in a variety of patterns of contemporary iconography and a permanent authenticity.

The discreet testimonies of crew members complete the indescribable image of Silvio at the time: a young joker, full of solidarity, who never abandoned his post. While Silvio´s own statements reveal details such as the small tattoo on his right hand that he always knew he could never erase.

What surprises the audience is Silvio´s capacity to always stay true to this philosophy and actions, without ever losing his wholesome nonconformity with the prejudices and archetypes trying to inhibit individuality in the name of a false collective awareness that takes us away from the society we all dream about.

I confess I felt deeply moved by this documentary, which doesn´t resort to melodramatic resources or tricks to achieve its objective. Silvio and his companions for this trip are shown without finishing touches or impoverishing criticisms. They´re the ones who stole food and then exercised the role of heroes; men with virtues and defects that make history from the difficult position of the routine nature of life.

Men on Deck is a tribute rather than a lesson of ethics, a documentary that doesn´t hide behind the nostalgia of years that, like those we´re now living, as Silvio would say, are the past of heaven. I´m sure that the film went directly to the souls of younger people and of those who, still adolescents, discovered in this documentary, destined to become a living memory, the Silvio we all idealized.



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