Ernesto Cardenal

In tribute to Ernesto Cardenal, the Nicaraguan poet who has just died at the age of 95, here he is in the early 80s, when he was the Sandinista Minister of Culture, in an extract from ‘New Cinema of Latin America’, which I made for Channel 4.
This was the only time I ever told an interviewee what I wanted them to say. I had been warned that he would have very little time, but I’d read an interview with him about culture and imperialism, so I simply asked him to repeat what he’d said there. I had the impression that he wasn’t really comfortable in front of the camera but he was very gracious, and when the camera rolled, he repeated what he’d said almost word for word, like prose poetry.
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