Letter: Our film was fair

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The Independent Online
Our film was fair

Sir: Your reviewer has some criticism of Ken Loach's Carla's Song, which I produced (Tabloid, 30 January). That is his right, but there is one aspect of his piece which I find offensive. It is the suggestion that by portraying "all-singin', all dancin' Sandinistas" we impose our own foreign, patronising, view of life in Nicaragua. In the film, Carla is part of a cultural brigade, a group of dancers and musicians who tour the war zones to boost morale. Their show was devised by people who did precisely that in the Eighties. We recorded their reality and show it in the film. This is not a romanticised version of the war, it is how the Nicaraguans chose to present themselves and - judging by the reactions of the people at the many screenings there - for them it clearly has the ring of truth.

An earlier film of Ken's, Ladybird, Ladybird, opens with a karaoke scene in a pub. The real-life Maggie (on whom the film was based) and Chrissie Rock (the actress who played her) shared a love of karaoke. While we were in Nicaragua, Oyanka Cabezas had a family birthday - the centrepiece, in common with many Nicaraguan parties, was a highly charged dance, the Palo de Mayo. Both scenes echo their own reality.

SALLY HIBBIN

Producer,

Parallax Pictures Ltd

London WC2

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