Three Puerto Rican brothers retreat to a town in New York following their father's death during a bank robbery. There they are hired by an elderly Irishwoman to renovate her house so she can throw one last house party.
Oliver Franklin: There has been a lot of discussion about definitions, especially the definition of a Black film. You have made a film without any Afro-Americans in it, yet it is a Black film perhaps because you directed it.
Kathleen Collins: That’s your answer. There can’t be a monopoly on form or content. I’m interested in solving certain questions such as: How do you do an interesting narrative film? So, I simply wanted a story that would be sufficiently difficult for me to want to solve some problems in narrative filmmaking.
Let’s talk about some of these problems. The Cruz Brothers is part of a larger book, The Cruz Chronicle: A Novel of Adventure and Close Calls by Henry A. Roth.
Yes, it is. I read the novel a few years ago. It’s the closest thing to a full American version of One Hundred Years of Solitude by the Latin-American writer Marquez. What Roth had done was to translate into American language, style and content the kind of mythical figures that populate One Hundred Years of Solitude. I was impressed with that as an achievement, because I’m interested in doing movies about minority people who are larger than life. They’re not real people but rather people who are mythical and whose solution to life s problems are big, bold solutions, so the novel spoke to me personally.
Oliver Franklin in conversation with Kathleen Collins1
- 1Oliver Franklin, “An Interview: Kathleen Collin,” originally published in 2nd National Black Films & Filmmakers Series (June 1980) and reprinted in Pearl Bowser and Valerie. Harris, eds., Independent Black American Cinema (New York: Third World Newsreel, 1981). Republished on Sabzian on 2 June 2021.