THE HA­VA­NA OF LUIS BUÑUEL

Arte por Excelencias - - Cuba -

Luis Buñuel was ne­ver in Ha­va­na. But wit­hout the exis­ten­ce of this city per­haps a ra­zor would ne­ver ha­ve mu­ti­la­ted an eye; so­me beg­gars would not ha­ve be­en gat­he­red around a table for a gro­tes­que re­pro­duc­ti­on of the last sup­per ac­cor­ding to Da Vin­ci; the gla­ci­al be­auty of Cat­he­ri­ne De­neu­ve could not reign in a brot­hel ... No­ne of the sto­ri­es cre­a­ted by one of the most bri­lli­ant film­makers, would ha­ve be­en fil­med.

Wit­hout Ha­va­na, litt­le Luis, born with in the twen­ti­eth cen­tury, on Fe­bru­ary 22nd, 1900, could not ha­ve taken his first steps in the stre­ets of Ca­lan­da. It was pre­ci­sely in the Cu­ban ca­pi­tal whe­re his fat­her, Le­o­nar­do Ma­nu­el Buñuel González, gat­he­red the for­tu­ne that allowed him to marry the be­au­ti­ful Maria Por­to­lés Ce­re­zu­e­la.

En­tre­pre­neur by na­tu­re, and re­fu­sed to con­ti­nue the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal tra­di­ti­on of his brother, the rest­less Le­o­nar­do cho­se to try his luck on the ot­her si­de of the world. At the age of 14 he es­ca­ped from the hou­se to join the Spa­nish army. Three ye­ars la­ter, he en­lis­ted along with ni­ne ot­her fri­ends in the army desig­na­ted in Cuba. The mag­ni­fi­cent ca­lli­graphy with which he fi­lled his re­quest ma­de him an of­fi­ce worker in Ha­va­na. The ot­her ni­ne went in­si­de, figh­ting the mam­bi­ses, and di­ed of ye­llow fe­ver, Luis said in re­ca­lling the sto­ri­es of his pro­ge­ni­tor. Af­ter gra­du­a­ting, Le­o­nar­do Buñuel ope­ned a bu­si­ness in Old Ha­va­na.

The el­dest son Luis Al­ber­to Buñuel Por­to­lés ne­ver for­got that among the re­cur­ring anec­do­tes that his fat­her, al­most always si­lent, used to tell him and his six brot­hers, they could not miss what hap­pe­ned on the night of Fe­bru­ary 15, 1890. That night the North Ame­ri­can crui­ser Mai­ne, anc­ho­red in the bay, sank with its crew as a re­sult of a ter­ri­ble ex­plo­si­on. This ca­tas­trop­he was the trig­ger used by Le­o­nar­do Buñuel to re­turn to his land. He re­tur­ned to Cuba in 1912, but his for­mer part­ners tur­ned his back on him and we­re for­ced to re­turn to Spain. That was the sa­me ye­ar that Ale­jo Car­pen­ti­er wro­te his no­vel The Ha­rass­ment, which Luis Buñuel then tri­ed to sho­ot in the city that hos­ted his fat­her, but it was ne­ver pos­si­ble.

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