19 October 2003 | jotix100
The Cuban Pharaoh
Of the films that Pastor Vega has directed, "Portrait of Theresa", is probably his best work, to date. That said, "The Prophesies of Amanda" came in as a complete surprise,when it was shown as part of the CUNY Cinematheque. It is a work that deserves to be seen, as it shows a great insight about the Cuban society after the revolution there.
Mr. Vega seems to be asking his audience to have a first hand look at something that is very peculiar to the culture of many countries in the world, but probably very deeply rooted in the islands of the Caribbean: the practice of a local brand of medicine, mixed with advice, spiritism, santeria, as a way of dealing with things that don't have a logical explanation.
Somewhere in the film we are shown a scene where a meeting of university professors are presented with the phenomenon of Amanda, the local seer, that has befriended the Venezuelan doctor, who is part of the medical examining board. It is indeed a strange case. As one professor declares, science in the marxist society is seen as linear. But it is obvious that even these learned people can't explain how Amanda can predict the most incredible things in people's futures, something that according to their studies simply is not possible.
This duality between the role of these people in a so-called evolved society is in contrast with the teachings of what one learns in school, yet, a lot of people will go to one of these could-be-phonies for a consultation, rather than to go see a real doctor.
Daisy Granados, plays Amanda with such panache that one can only believe she is this woman. It is a role she was born to play. She gives an outstanding performance as the creole encarnation of the late Lola Flores, one of the most admired singer of Spain. Ms Granados is the whole film.
A person seeking the answer to his problems would be very wise to go and visit with Ms Granados' Amanda, as he will come out a very changed individual!