Private Project

A LA MEDIANOCHE (At nightfall) 'Moments with Javier Arzuaga'

Three of us were the protagonists of what happened in La Cabaña back then: he who died, he who killed and me, God’s clown, trying to offer what I could not.

The Cabaña was the Fortress of Havana; When: the first five months of 1959, that is, the first steps of the Cuban revolution;

Those executed: soldiers and police officers of the Batista regime;
The executioners: the fighters who had come down from Sierra Maestra;
God's clown, trying to convey his worn-out faith: Javier Arzuaga (Oñate, 1929), a Franciscan friar.

There were many well know characters there, one of them was the Che Guevara, who back then was the commander of La Cabaña.

After having kept all of his troubled life experiences to himself for over forty years, Arzuaga decided to put pen to paper. His book 'At midnight', stems from here as does this documentary presented by Angel Gonzalez Katarain.

Arzuaga accompanied fifty-five people in the days, hours and minutes prior to their deaths, and even during actual shootings. He refused to confess the convicts- he was not interested in their truths-; his role was to convey valour on that inescapable last trip.

Among this collection of stories is the one where the commander who was to be executed, asks his wife to bring him his unused, brand new shoes. Or the case of Ariel Lima, accused of treason: he had worked with revolutionaries at the age of sixteen; at nineteen he was beaten up by the Batista police force; the Che, without giving it a second thought, sent him to the wall. On one occasion, Arzuaga himself had to hold a captain’s hand because he was unable to administer the coup de grace. There is also the case of the non- believer who was about to be executed and begged the Franciscan to lend him his faith so he could be executed.

'A la medianoche' is above all, a first-hand witness view into a dark episode in history. In any event, the Basque case is not limited to the Cuban one; this work goes far beyond that. Based on the executions at La Cabaña, it universalises the issue of the death penalty; not from doctrine, but from the pain and compassion that will never be forgotten.

  • Angel Katarain
    Director
  • Angel Katarain
    Writer
  • Javier Arzuaga
    Writer
  • Semillas en el tiempo
    Producer
  • TX Servicios Audiovisuales
    Editores
  • Amaia Apaolaza
    Contributors
  • Arlo Will
    Contributors
  • Ruper Ordorika
    Contributors
  • Klara Badiola
    Contributors
  • Ana Gonzalez
    Contributors
  • Stella Andino
    Contributors
  • Angel Azkarraga "Matxitxa"
    Contributors
  • Marilin Sosa
    Contributors
  • Luis Ignacio Gonzalez
    Contributors
  • Oskar Alegria
    Contributors
  • Iñaki Mendizabal
    Contributors
  • Elixabete Garmendia
    Contributors
  • Telmo Esnal
    Contributors
  • Andoni Arzallus
    Contributors
  • Mark Stutter
    Contributors
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    A LA MEDIANOCHE 'Momentos con Javier Arzuaga'
  • Film Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Social, Derechos humanos, conflictos, History, conflicts, Historia, Biografia, Biography, Latin, Latino, Latinoamericano, Religion
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    243,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    Spain
  • Country of Filming:
    Cuba, Spain
  • Film Language:
    Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital DCP flat 48fps
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • The Accolade Global Film Competition
    8837 Villa La Jolla Dr. # 13131 La Jolla, CA 92039 EEUU
    June 16, 2015
    Award of Merit: Documentary Feature
  • Los Angeles CineFest
    Los Angeles
    July 2, 2015
    Festival mensual sin proyecciones publicas
    Mejor pelicula documental
  • ROMA CINEMADOC
    Roma
    AUGUST Festival edition.
  • MIDBO Colombia
    Bogota
    November 1, 2015
    Official Selection
  • 12 MONTHS FILM FESTIVAL
    ROMANIA
    September 30, 2015
    Selección Oficial
  • XX INTERNATIONAL TV FESTIVAL BAR
    Montenegro
    October 21, 2015
    Official Selection
  • Russian International Film Festival
    Sevastopol
    October 22, 2015
    Official Selection
  • Jaipur International Film Festival
    Jaipur
    January 2, 2016
    Official Selection
Director Biography

Filmography

2012 - BELASCOAIN - 'La calle de los pelotaris'
2014 - ZULUETA - 'azúcar moreno'
2015 - A LA MEDIANOCHE (At nightfall) - 'Moments with Javier Arzuaga'
2015 - ESPADA - 'Ser y hacer sobre el lecho de un volcán'

Add Director’s Biography
Director Statement

Angel Gonzalez Katarain is a sound engineer, musician and Basque audio-visual producer. He has his own recording studios located in Azkarate (Navarra-Spain). Since 1980 he has been heavily involved in a myriad of projects within the world of image and sound.
In 2010 he became the main promoter of Seeds in time, a historical research project that seeks to audio visually rescue and display the influence of the Basque culture in other parts of the world.
www.semillaseneltiempo.com
http://vimeo.com/angelkatarain/
https://www.facebook.com/angelkatarain
https://www.facebook.com/semillaseneltiempo
www.angelkatarain.com