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I offer a close look at the Cuban film El matadero, which premiered virtually in December 2021 from Havana via the 2nd annual streaming INSTAR Cuban Film Festival. In this documentary, independent Cuban director Fraguela Fosado combines a pastiche of digital modes to tell the personal story of two friends: one on the island -the filmmaker himself -and one off. I argue that the film’s uniqueness is in its use of digital and geographic spaces to capture Ana López’s concept of a “Greater Cuba.” I examine how the on-island filmmaker co-creates a platform with his off-island interlocutor enabling collaborative authorship through the use of the digital platform WhatsApp. In doing so, the film explores the friendship between the two young men through memory, archives, memes, and a particularly Cuban sense of humor. The result is a film that achieves a personal narrative of contemporary Cubanness across a digital diaspora both in the making of, the plot, and its subsequent distribution trajectory.


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Publication Title

TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World

Published Citation

Farrell, M. L. (2023). Capturing a Transnational, Digital Cuba in the Documentary El matadero (Fraguela Fosado 2021). TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, 11(1).



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