Singer CuCu Diamantes, who cofounded the Grammy-nominated New York Afro-Latin fusion group Yerba Buena, recently embarked on a tour of her home country of Cuba, with filmmaker Jorge Perugorría shooting the trek for the film Amor Cronico. The movie intersperses performance footage of the singer’s vivacious performances with a fictional romance plot and stunning shots of the country as she travels with a giant, 33-foot-long high heel prop and connects with the locals.
“This movie contains so many aspects of my life: my diverse ethnic and musical background, my eclectic taste and most importantly my love for music and culture,” Diamantes said in a statement. “It has been an exciting form for me to express my music and wrap it all up into a visual love poem to the Cuban people. All I want is for the public around the world to feel even a small portion of the energy and inspired time we had while conceiving and shooting the film.”
Amor Cronico documents the first tour of Cuba by a Cuban-American in the last 50 years. Since leaving Cuba, Diamantes not only helped put together Yerba Buena but got her own Grammy nomination for her album CuCuLand. She has also performed alongside the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, Juanes, Ray Charles and Celia Cruz at her last-ever New York concert.
For her Cuban tour, Diamantes assembled a band spotlighting a new generation of Cuban musicians. It also features performances by rumba group Muñequitos de Matanzas, trumpeter Alexander Abreu, drummer Samuel Formel and the Cuban group Los Van Van and London Royal Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta. Fellow Yerba Buena cofounder Andres Levin, who produced Amor Cronico, also makes an appearance in the movie.
“The challenge and reward of making this film was immense,” Levin said. “I believe we have created a new form of musical feature in a very organic way – one that is both inspired by the factual lives of the characters and simultaneously ventures into a magical world of surrealism without missing a beat. All the while, we manage to show the world a slice of Cuba that is not often seen.”
The film will be available on DVD and video on demand on November 4th.