THE ADORABLE SUBMISSIVENESS OF FERNANDO PÉREZ TO THE CINEMA
The first woman who managed to practice as a doctor in Cuba was born in Switzerland, and in order to study this profession in Europe, at the beginning of the 19th century, she had to disguise herself as a man. With a male identity, she graduated as a surgeon in Paris, and after serving in the Napoleonic wars she crossed the Atlantic Ocean and settled in Baracoa, a city in eastern Cuba. There the successes of the "French doctor" attracted too much attention, until a fearful maid revealed the secret. The scandal led to a unique trial in the Caribbean island, where the life of Enriqueta Faber remains a mystery and a legend.
The old and the new continent had something in common: to be very macho and be governed by a patriarchal and discriminatory-with-females society. That is why the great Cuban filmmaker Fernando Pérez believes that this story could have happened in any place, and confident in the contemporary resonance of the drama, he created, from the real events, the feature film Insumisas, along with Swiss director and co-writer Laura Hunter.
His new film delves into the life of the Swiss woman who came to Baracoa under the name of Enrique Faber and successfully practiced medicine, and even got to marry a young local girl.
Fernando believes in the signs of nature and uses them in cinema with the conviction that those signs or messages will lead him to elaborate a better work, hence his works convey an aura of spirituality and many critics consider the (Premio Nacional de Cine 2007 National Film Award, 2007) as the most relevant Cuban director alive.