While ‘Viva’ may sound like an out-there story, director Paddy Breathnach’s story on why he decided to do the film, may change your mind. Watch the interview here.
Entirely filmed in Cuba, Viva takes a look at a world we have never seen — that of a man who becomes a drag queen by night in an attempt to find himself. Paddy Breathnach sat down for an interview at the Sundance Film Festival to delve into what it was like filming such a movie, especially in Cuba.
“Viva is about a young man who hasn’t found his voice in life. He works in the margins of this drag show — he does the hair — and he starts to perform,” Paddy revealed about his lead chapter Jesus, played by Héctor Medina. “It stirs something in him and he thinks, this is sort of where he might find his voice in life.”
However, that all changes when someone from his past comes back — his father. “Out of the blue, his father who he hasn’t seen for 15 years, arrives back into his life and tries to stop that from happening,” Paddy explained. The father in this case is Angel, and ex-boxer, played by Jorge Perugorría.
“I’d been to cuba and I happened to go to a couple drag shows by chance and was struck by it all,” Paddy explained to us. As for filming, it was easier than people thought and wasn’t filled with an overwhelming amount of restrictions. “Every morning our crew car was like, a 1953 Chevy and eight or nine of us would crowd into it,” he said laughing.
However, on a more serious note, the movie over all is very meaningful to him — and actually he relates to it. “The theme of the film is “Find your voice,” and for me, I kind off rediscovered my own voice making it.”