Los hijos de Pandora (Pandora’s Children)

Los hijos de Pandora (Pandora’s Children)
Fecha de publicación: 
22 December 2022
Imagen principal: 

The soap opera Los hijos de Pandora ends this week. It has been a pretty good example (it has been representative and of good quality) of this unique product of the Latin American visual panorama: the Cuban soap opera.

A soap opera in Cuba can be the niche of multiple confluences: from the most conventional melodrama to a determined and committed recreation of the context. The Cuban soap opera tends to bet on the usefulness of art. Many times, they are platforms to address pressing issues, with a remarkable vision of human values.

In Los hijos de Pandora, there is no incident for the sake of it: there is a concept, an ethical stance, a poetics of action.

The best thing is that everything is raised without didacticism. The plot flow freely and it seduces viewers, as well as the empathy of characters and the very-well-designed of the drama structure. Viewers can identify themselves. They understand everything as they are being pulsed certain emotional chords.

Human beings, with their accomplishments and problems, are the most important things in Los hijos… Portraying them into a clear, attractive, dynamic story is a great virtue. And it was achieved here.

Of course, if this proposal is measured based on the guidelines of the traditional television soap opera, it becomes evident that there is little trap, intrigue, surprise... From the beginning, one could glimpse what the conflicts of the characters were and the way in which these were going to be resolved. There were no shocking turning points that left the viewer in shock or compromised the integrity of the heroines and heroes (although ultimately it is known that heroes are going to overcome all obstacles).

There was not. But we did not miss it that much. The strength of the plots and the way in which their resolution was reached was enough to maintain viewers hooked. And although the soap opera took its time to take off (some excessive delight in the introduction of characters and conflicts), the succession of actions was well dosed.

The quality of dialogues contributed a lot, which avoided mannerisms and cultism... without falling into populace tackiness. And the actors’ commitment to that text has been vital, especially the truth with which they defended it. The performance of the cast is outstanding, and the direction of the actors greatly influences so. Children and adolescents, for example, have displayed exemplary organization, integration and coherence. There have not been notable differences between newbies and experienced actors.

The style of the production (which has been the Achilles heel of some domestic productions, although the viewers —if the story is good— does not usually attach great importance to it) is worthy here, although there are still some sections below international standards.

Shooting outdoor poses quite a few challenges. And it is not always enough with the effort. Sound quality, for example, is far from optimal. There are scenes in which you can barely understand what the characters are saying due to contamination with noise from the environment or due to the unevenness of the music tracks.

There is a certain formal search in photography —evident above all in the banners—; the choice of certain filters, which strengthen a certain tonality, seems to be an authorial mark.

The opening and farewell songs, and the entire soundtrack of the soap opera effectively dialogue with the general discourse, and provide interesting nuances to the stories.

Los hijos de Pandora has been a friendly soap opera, full of gratifications. That is not to say that there were no complex, arduous, and even stark plots. But the great humanity in the treatment, and that witty mixture of humor and drama that marked some of the nuclei, avoided the morbidity or the overwhelming intensity.

In Los hijos de Pandora, as expected, love triumphs: people love each other and show it. The strength of the family. There are lots of smiles and hugs here. The famous box of problems opens, but it also closes. There is faith and hope. And that, in these challenging times, is greatly needed.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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