Monday, May 5, 2008

The Man of Two Havanas Director Speaks Out vs. U.S. Embargo of Cuba

Irvine -- In our next edition, airing Monday May 5 2008 at 9 a.m. on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, and on the web simultaneously via, we talk with the director of "The Man of Two Havanas".

Max Lesnik, the director's father, with Fidel Castro

Vivien Lesnik Weisman, in her documentary, takes a look back at her father and her life with him as he survived numerous bombing attempts by Cuban exiles in Little Havana, not unlike the situation of intimidation and domestic terrorism faced by some outspoken Vietnamese exiles in Little Saigon. We talk about her film and why she wanted to make it, as well as what it was like to live in Miami as a small girl. The film argues that the U.S. embargo against Cuba hurts the people in Cuba as well as Cuban exiles abroad.

Biographical info: Vivien Lesnik Weisman was born in Havana, Cuba. After graduating from Barnard College and New York Law School, she received an M.F.A. in directing from the UCLA School of Film and Television.
Her numerous awards include the presti- gious UCLA Spotlight Award for Best Dramatic Short, the Houston Film Festival Best Short Award and a Golden Eagle for Excellence in Latino Filmmaking.
A student of acclaimed documentarian Marina Goldovskaya, Weisman recently won IFP New York's Fledging Fund Award for a Work-in-Progress for The Man of Two Havanas, her first documentary. She resides in Santa Monica with her son, Richard Jr.
Her father, Max Lesnik, director of Radio Miami, has been the number one target of anti-Castro terrorists and considered the most controversial figure in the Cuban exile community. He was a prominent revolutionary when he left Cuba due to ideological differences with his then-friend, Fidel Castro. In Miami, he took a position that was both against the Cuban government as well as against the U.S. policy toward Cuba. Mr. Lesnik became the publisher of Replica. The magazine was a forum for debate, as well as for Mr. Lesnik's incendiary point of view. Mr. Lesnik's position soon evolved to include dialogue with the Cuban government and recently he revived his friendship with Castro. Mr. Lesnik has been the target of anti-Castro terrorists. They have tried unsuccessfully to murder him; nine bombs have gone off at his office in Little Havana.
The film recently aired in Orange County at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
The show airs during KUCI's pledge drive. Please support the only public-radio station from OC and to support shows like Subversity. To pledge, go to
Meanwhile, the Asian Pacific Film Festival continues in Los Angeles:
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