Madrid – The one that could be classified as the last great concert by Pablo Milanes for its symbolic value, the one who brought him together in the midst of his illness and after four years of absence with his “most extraordinary audience”, sees the light this Wednesday, exactly one year after his death.
Graduated “Days of light – Pablo Milanes in Havana”, comes to Movistar Plus+ under the co-direction of his son Fabien Pisani and his widow Nancy Perez, who has also carried out the production tasks of what they define not so much as a documentary, but as “the faithful record” of that event held on 21 June 2022 in the Cuban capital.
Its release, according to Perez publicly in statements collected by EFE, was among the last wishes of her husband, who spent “his last mornings” reviewing all the material with a single request for his family: “That they release it soon.”
He does so exactly one year after the death of that “profoundly Cuban” troubadour, as defined by journalist Carlos Galilea, who knew how to “link the old trova with the new, recovering forgotten figures like Compay Segundo”, always with the determination of being “a chronicler of his time.”
“Singing was for him a triumph over the suffering of the more than 30 operations he endured, in addition to poverty and other things he never spoke about in life, such as the abandonment of his father,” Pisani confessed at the presentation of the documentary. this week.
A concert “with a certain halo of farewell”
With the only accompaniment of a piano and a cello, Milanes arrived on the stage of the Sports City of Havana in a wheelchair in all his dignity. His diminished mobility was counterbalanced by the solidity of his warm voice as he approached 80 years of age and the happiness evident in his face and in his words.
“Good evening, my beloved Cuban audience!” he burst in just after performing the opening with “Marginal”, to vindicate the thousands of people who had come to see him, probably also to say goodbye: “I have always said that he is my better public in the attention and respect they give me.”
According to his widow, Milanes “never imagined that there could be one last concert for him” and therefore “he never lost hope of singing despite his illness,” but, as his son stated, he conceived that date in Havana “with “a certain halo of farewell, as if closing things.”
The documentary barely alludes to the constant problems and delays in its celebration, partly due to complications derived from covid-19, partly under the shadow that they were maneuvers by the Cuban authorities in the face of a repertoire that, together with timeless romantic themes such as “ Yolanda” or “The brief space in which you are not”, was also filled with cuts that questioned the regime.
An “extremely loving” being
Defined as an “extremely loving” being by those who knew him, his absence even today constitutes “a heartbreak” for friends like Victor Manuel, who met Milanes on his first trip to Cuba in 1976, in which they spent an entire night at home. “singing dazzling songs.”
“It was like entering another dimension, you couldn’t sing or compose better; From then on everything became poor for me,” highlighted the Spanish musician, who shared the “En blanco y negro” tour with the Cuban and produced his album “Querido Pablo” (1985). “There is not a day that I do not remember,” said Victor Manuel when covering the presentation this Monday of “Days of Light.”
More optimistic in the face of his absence, another close friend such as the Nicaraguan writer Gioconda Belli celebrates this material that refreshes the memory of “an earthly character, kind above all things and with a deep love for the history of his country with all its things. ”.
“People like Pablo are never lost and in this film you can see his strength, the beauty of that man’s voice, it is there in all its bearing,” he highlighted about a concert that will also constitute the end point of another documentary, in feature film format and with images recorded since 2009, which his son Fabien Pisani will have ready for 2024.