Saul Landau and Gerardo Hernandez
Saul Landau Presente!
Social Justice Fighter, Revolutionary
Filmmaker and Friend dies
A Reflection from the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver
It is with heavy hearts that we receive the news that the
world has lost this steadfast fighter for humanity, Saul
Landau. On Monday September 9th, Saul Landau died after a
long battle with cancer, surrounded by
While geography and equally busy
schedules have mostly kept us physically
apart, activists in the Free the Cuban 5
Committee Vancouver have had a special
place in our hearts for Saul Landau. After
years of knowing Saul’s documentary
films and work, we were first introduced
to him by the former Cuban Ambassador
to Canada, Teresita Vicente, at the
Vancouver International Film Festival
in 2011. Since then we have regarded
Saul Landau as a friend, co-fighter and
At a time like this one reflects on the first
meetings and memories that establish the
bonds between people. For activists in Vancouver, we had the honour of spending time
with Saul and learning from him when he came to present at the Vancouver International
Film Festival for Peace in 2011. We will always remember the Master Class he gave at
the festival – sharing his life, experiences, and knowledge of revolutionary filmmaking
in a way that captured everyone’s full attention. We also remember him rolling up his
sleeves and joining in to help serve food at the festival, during the busiest lunch hour
rush between films, even after the Master Class!
We appreciated all the other opportunities we had to talk with Saul further about life
and politics, either on the phone or in person. It was a real pleasure to again spend
time with Saul in Washington DC during the first 5 Days for the Cuban 5 in 2012. Saul’s
initiative and leadership in the fight for our 5 Heroes’ freedom from US dungeons has
brought the case to places it had never been able to go – especially within the US itself.
Saul Landau even somehow managed to get the Miami mafia themselves on tape admitting
to their own crimes!
Around the world, anyone who has been touched by Saul Landau’s great life will
remember him in many ways - as a revolutionary
filmmaker, scholar, author, teacher, father, and we are sure more. As a trusted friend of revolutionary Cuba for over half acentury, we have a lot to learn from the path he took. We know Ricardo Alarcon was
not speaking lightly when he said Saul Landau is a “a real combatant with no other
weapons than his talent and intellectual integrity.”
Saul Landau was not one for exaggeration, but with all honesty we can say that we
will continue to use his work and example in the fight for a better world we all know is
possible. While a long and difficult road lies ahead, we have Saul Landau’s example to
help show us that we can keep fighting “in the belly of the beast” and beyond.
Saul Landau, Presente!