Lloyd Frost

                     

                                   about...

Lloyd Frost is a Canadian singer-songwriter, filmmaker, travel writer and photographer. Social Commentary with a Groove is a recurring  theme in his works.

His short films are shot on location, and are a unique blend of music video and documentary genres. Topics have included life in the Castros’ Cuba and living with terrorism attacks.

His first two films have received awards in several categories including art film, music video, activist video and original song. Lloyd is presently editing his new film about life in a divided Berlin. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.

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If every song is about something...

...how many Latin-inspired dance tunes are about free speech and human rights?

And why aren't there any Cuban eyes in my film "In Everyone's Eyes"?

 

I'm frequently asked the second question. (The first one? Not so much.) The answer was nicely paraphrased by a Cuban friend who I asked to participate in the film. Would she agree to be filmed for just a few seconds, while never revealing her face? "No", she replied. "It's complicated." However unlikely it would be for her to be identified, her fear was palpable.

It's dangerous to speak openly against the State in Cuba. It's been this way for generations. Everyone complies or faces the consequences: not being allowed to work at your job or profession is one of the milder ones. Detentions, beatings and prison sentences are others.

And so the eyes you see hovering over the Modelo Prison at the film's end are...mine.

The song In Everyone's Eyes started to write itself in my head as I walked along bustling 23rd Street near La Rampa, in Havana. I completed it a week or so later in the eastern town of Bayamo where the Cuban national anthem was written.

The studio recording of 'In Everyone's Eyes' started in Canada, and continued in Managua where I met Nicaraga's musical icon Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy. Luis Enrique generously organized the session, bringing in his trumpet and horn players and his percussionista.

During the session, I mentioned that I'd like to make a film of the song. And how a friend had imagined me walking on the Havana malecon, women with fruit in their hair on either side of me! I knew that was impossible. Blatantly participating that way in a counter-revolutionary video would have consequences...

"We have a malecon here! You can make it in Managua," exclaimed one of the musicians.

I know the esplanade along the waterfront in Managua - and also the one in Havana, where waves crash over the seawall and fly high in the air, hanging suspended in time before before crashing to the wet pavement. Where the sea air can be cool and breezy, or blistering hot and stifling.  And there's people hanging out, walking around...

I thought about this.

"Well," I said, "it just wouldn't be the same. You know, without Havana's malecon."

There's no place I've ever been that's like Havana. Or any other place in Cuba, when you get right down to it. With its own twists and turns, warmth and paranoia, rules and of course how to get around them.

The short film 'In Everyone's Eyes' did get made. Totalmente en Cuba. On Havana's malecon and elsewhere in Havana, inside the Modelo Prison on the Isla de la Juventude and in towns like Remedios. After Fidel Castro died in November 2016, I made a more pointed director's final cut: In Eveyone's Eyes - El ultimo! now screening at film festivals.

Lloyd Frost
November 2018                                                                                                   

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Cowboy Of The Carretera

singer of songs and stills