“Patria y Vida,” the liberty anthem that fueled a new Cuban revolution in the summer, will now become a full-length documentary.
Presented by Exile Content Studio in partnership with singer-songwriters Beatriz Luengo and Yotuel Romero, the documentary “will explore how the song—its title a repudiation of the 1950’s Cuban Revolution’s slogan ‘Patria o Muerte’—sparked a movement, which the Cuban government has tried to suppress, and investigate how music has been a catalyst for social change throughout modern history,” reads a statement.
“When we see the impact our song has had on the people of Cuba and around the world, we feel privileged to be able to use our platform to tell the story of Cuba and give a voice to a community that is often oppressed,” said Luengo and Romero. “We’re hopeful we’ll see change in the future and we’re excited to collaborate with Exile to continue to raise awareness and fight for the people of Cuba; to continue to use our voice in a meaningful way.”
The news comes on the heels of “Patria y Vida” winning best urban song and the coveted song of the year at the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards on Nov. 18.
The song was originally penned by Romero (formerly of hip-hop group Orishas), Beatriz Luengo, Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom (of Gente de Zona), and Descemer Bueno, and features Cuban voices from within the island, Maykel Osorbo and rapper El Funky.
“I felt we needed to show the two realities: those of us who live outside Cuba, and those who are still on the island, who live the streets there,” Romero previously told Billboard.
The track, released independently on Romero’s Chancleta Records in February, has become the anthem of anti-government protests in Cuba. Its power of mobilization was a factor in the arrests of both El Funky and Osorbo; the latter has been behind bars in Cuba since May when he famously fled from Cuban police aided by demonstrators. Osorbo is the first Cuban political prisoner who won two Latin Grammys.
“We at Exile believe in creating content to inspire Latin Americans to take action to create social change in the world,” said Daniel Eilemberg, president of content at Exile. “We are especially excited at the opportunity to join forces with Bea and Yotuel to produce a documentary about the tremendous power of their song in galvanizing activism to protest the appalling conditions and restrictive political policies in Cuba and the government responsible for them.”