European Perspectives 1998


Black tears
by Sonia Herman Dolz
Country: Netherlands, Cuba
Year: 1997
Duration: 75'

The protagonists in this documentary are the five elderly members of the Cuban musical group La Vieja Trova Santiaguera (The Old Troubadours) as they were filmed during their five-month European tour. At the end of their concerts they need to be helped, not because they were tired from playing music or from showing their dancing spirit, but because a set of stairs can represent too big a risk for their fragile bones. Their lightness and sensuality in playing the rhythms of the enchanting Cuban motifs conflicts only with their stiffness and pain in coming down from the stage. Being their average age of eighty, the members of La Vieja Trova Santiaguera recreate Cuban sound - the music that was to become salsa - with the dynamism and ineffable grace of their lives' experiences.


film director

Sonia Herman Dolz

Sonia Herman Dolz is a Dutch woman who was born in Madrid in 1972. She graduated from the Film Department of the Free Academy of The Hague in 1994. She then worked as technician and director in various film and television productions in Holland and abroad. From 1993 to 1996 she curated the production of a series of fifteen television documentaries entitled Diogenes. Her Romance de Valentía - on bullfighting - won several awards including the Golden Hugo for the best documentary at the Chicago festival in 1994. Lágrimas negras won the Silver Spire and the Audience Award at the San Francisco festival in 1998. At present she is working on her first fiction feature film.


Romance de Valentía (doc., 1993), Diogenes (doc. tv, 1993-1996), Lágrimas negras (doc., 1997).


& Credits

Director: Sonia Herman Dolz. Soggetto e sceneggiatura: Kees Ryninks, Sonia Herman Dolz.
Director of photography: Melle Van Essen.
Sound: Christine Van Roon.
Music: La Vieja Trova Santiaguera.
Editor: Gys Zevenbergen.
Cast: La Vieja Trova Santiaguera: Reinaldo Hierrezuelo, Reinaldo Creagh, Pancho Cobas, Aristoteles Limonta, Ricardo Ortiz.
Producer: Kees Ryninks.
Production company: Ryninks Films BV, Muntplein 10, 1012 WR Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tel. +31-20-5304788, fax +31-20-5304787.
Foreign sales agent: Nos Sales, P.O. Box 26444, 1202 J.J. Hilversum, The Netherlands, tel. +31-35-6773561, fax +31-35-6775318