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Latin American Film Study on “Plaff!”


There have always been great debates between those who create art and those who are eager or not willing to consume it. Those kinds of debates use to turn into huge arguments that entailed great discoveries within the art sphere. As such, there were many discontents with Espinosa’s Imperfect Cinema also known as a universal movie. This paper will assess the relationship between Plaff!’ and Espinosa’s essay on imperfect cinema. Also, this essay will reveal the meaning of imperfection according to Espinosa and the movie’s content.

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Plaff’s Appearance

Plaff was a tremendous success within the audience in the home country and abroad. The movie is a wonderfully emotional, funny, sarcastic representation of the Cuban situation in the 1980s. The work was called an ‘artistic risk’ by Alex Fleites (Blassini, p. 195), which was evidently supported by Espinosa, he speculated: “A true artist is prepared to run any risk as long as he is certain that his work will not cease to be an artistic expression. The only risk which he will not accept is that of endangering the artistic quality of his work” (Espinosa, n.p.) This concept, stated by Espinosa in his essay can be truly taken as something outrageous as per the new outlook of all actors being the authors of new streams in movie culture; this may contradict a statement conveyed by Plaff.

Espinosa’s Statement

The actual idea that there exists a ‘true’ actor subsequently presupposes existence of a ‘false’ actor. Espinosa claims that the movie itself made it possible for an imperfect art to emerge. “…extreme importance for artistic culture: the possibility of recovering, without any kinds of complexes or guilt feelings, the true meaning of artistic activity” (Espinosa, n.p.). Namely, the artist will most likely compromise his own work for the reason that he/she is not eager to take the risk inherent in movie making. However, Espinosa does not specify what a ‘false’ artist is, so his argumentation collapses here. Not only he contradicts himself by saying there are many ‘untrue’ artists, but also he cannot simply specify what an artist or a composer should do to reach the ‘perfectness’ within the movie sphere.

Relationship between Plaff!’ and Espinosa’s Essay

Therefore, it is almost impossible to agree with Espinosa that the art of movie-making is available and comprehensible for everyone having the opportunity and desire to create it. Plaff is a marvelous representation of the historical Cuban period, although the director marvelously veiled it with sarcasm of the internal emotional, and psychological problems of the heroine. She was unable to cope with her own inside inconsistency and therefore connected the eggs’ throwing to her window with some prejudices. The question is would it be better for a terrible film to be created because there are fewer hurdles for that than a great film might have? In this case, certainly, this would be an ‘imperfect’ cinema but not within the idealistic manner that Espinosa introduced. The difference between the movie’s content and Espinosa’s statement is that there cannot be a universal movie, indeed. It is impossible to reduce all to the same level. Imperfectness is a very relative notion to determine everything as idealistically as Espinosa does. The primary reason for this is that talent is not universal.


Analysis of Plaff content and Espinosa’s essay on ‘imperfect cinema’ brought the conclusion that the two works represented two different notions of imperfection. The movie, however, reflected totally different imperfections in completely another sphere of dominance, namely those two spheres were the artistic level of representation and historical content.


Espinosa, Garcia, J. Meditations on Imperfect Cinema … Fifteen Years Later” in New Latin American Cinema.

Blasini, Gilberto, M. The World According to Plaff! Reassessing Cuban Cinema in the Late 1980s, in Chon Noriega, ed Visible Nations: Latin American Cinema and Video. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000: 193-216.

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