LOS ULTIMOS FRIKIS Trailer: Aging Cuban Rockers Fight The Winds of Change
We find the premise of Nicholas Brennan's documentary Los Últimos Frikis (The Last Freaks), a story about an aging Cuban heavy metal band Zues, a very interesting one.
Zues at first seems to have become the antithesis of what a heavy metal band is. Once a band that rebelled against the system, a voice to a rebellious generation, even serving jail time, Zeus is now a state-sponsored band, backed by Cuba's Agency of Rock (a real thing).
Brennan's doc followed Zues for ten years leading up to the band's first national tour, backed by the State. But has the future of Cuba and this new generation of Cuban youth moved on and left these aging rockers behind? Where most old school heavy metal bands around the World seem to enjoy an everlasting career from a fanbase that spans the ages Zues finds themselves up against a disinterested, new generation, albeit from a smaller more concentrated demographic from an island nation.
Los Últimos Frikis will be playing at the Miami Film Festival and Havana Film Festival New York this Spring.
You can watch the trailer for Los Últimos Frikis below.
Following a successful world premiere at the most recent edition of DOC NYC and a sold-out screening at the Havana Film Festival, Los Últimos Frikis, the debut documentary feature by Nicholas Brennan, has been selected to participate in the Documentary Achievement Award competition at the 37th edition of the Miami Film Festival, taking place March 6-15, and at the 21st annual Havana Film Festival New York, running April 27-May 5.Los Últimos Frikis tells the story of Zeus, Cuba’s hard-rocking, state-sponsored heavy metal band as they embark on their first national tour at a time when new historic changes sweep across the country, forcing the band to confront their biggest fear: silence.When the heavy metal band first formed in Havana in the eighties, rock music was illegal on the Caribbean island, and rockers were derisively called “los frikis”—the freaks. Fidel Castro’s Communist government saw rock-and-roll as a capitalist threat: Concerts were broken up, vinyl records were destroyed, and long-haired “frikis” were thrown in jail. Lead singer Diony Arce spent six years in prison at the height of his career. Today, Zeus is part of the system, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture’s Agency of Rock. The government that once silenced these Frikis now pays their salaries and promotes them around the country. These grey-haired rockers traded in their rebellion for the chance to perform openly to crowds across the island. But at what cost?Filmed over the course of ten years as a rare collaboration between American and Cuban filmmakers, the film offers a unique portrait of Cuba through the eyes of some unusual protagonists. Bouncing across the island on their tour bus, Zeus come face to face with a changing country and a younger generation that is no longer interested in their rebellious music.Just as Cuba is optimistically opening its doors to what many hope will be a more comfortable and secure future, musical tastes have shifted to the newer, sexier rhythms of reggaeton. Once at the forefront of youth culture, Zeus now risk fading into a quiet irrelevance. Returning to Havana after a heart-breaking tour, the band questions if they have become los últimos frikis—the last freaks in Cuba.