Donald Glover has unveiled a series of behind-the-scenes videos of his island musical love story ‘Guava Island.’ The clips showcase local Cuban dancers, musicians and Cuban actors involved in the production of the movie, which premiered at Coachella before hitting Amazon Prime in April 2019.
The snippets offer heartwarming insights into the creative process of the film. On one of the clips, the kids of Guava Island share their stories about the filming experience, “I dream of becoming a great dancer just like Carlos Acosta,” says one of the Guava children, “create my own company and help my family.”
Local Cuban artists are introduced as a passionate and optimistic collective of art enthusiasts. They share their struggle to find a balancing point between the pursuit of an artistic dream and traditionally stable employment. ‘Guava Island’ filmed on locations across the exotic beaches of Cuba in summer 2018. The movie featured many local artists and musicians as characters and extras.
Set against the backdrop of political tensions on the eponymous island, the plot centers on the passionate love story of Deni (Glover) and his girlfriend Kofi (Rihanna). Deni is determined to throw a musical carnival for the islanders amidst growing political oppression. When the autocratic regime presses him to abandon the project, Dani uses his love and trust in music to resist the villainous General who reigns over the island. Apart from dealing with the iron fist of the General, he has to take care of Kofi, who is increasingly worried about his safety.
“At its best (or maybe just its most accessible), art is ingenuity,” Glover is quoted as saying by THR, “I had the pleasure of experiencing this spirit of ‘making what you must with what you have,’ collaborating with Cuba’s talented and abundant artists over the course of filming Guava Island.” The film features some of the popular songs released under his moniker Childish Gambino.
The musician-turned-actor also adds, “The artist’s endeavor has always been the manifesting of an idea, then forcing a society to recognize, or maybe just question, its value. These artists have not only inspired me to examine what we value on a day-to-day basis, but also to move with intention in the world with the childlike ingenuity that Cuba seems to offer every moment.”
Described as a “tropical thriller” by Amazon Studios, ‘Guava Island’ is directed by Hiro Murai from a screenplay by Glover’s brother, Stephen. Check out the special behind-the-scenes videos below.
Cover Image Courtesy: Amazon Studios.