ZEUS, Cuba’s legendary heavy metal band | Courtesy of May Reguera
Filmed in Cuba over the course of ten years, Los Últimos Frikis tells the story of iconic Cuban heavy metal band Zeus and their three-decade fight to be heard. When Zeus formed in the 1980s, rock music was illegal and rockers were derisively called los frikis—the freaks. Fidel Castro’s communist government saw rock and roll as a mortal threat sent by a capitalist enemy. In the face of repression, Zeus rose to infamy as a counter-cultural phenomenon but paid a price. Zeus’s lead singer, Dionisio “Diony” Arce, spent six years in prison at the height of his career. Today, the band is part of the system as an official group within the Ministry of Culture’s Agency of Cuban Rock. As Cuba’s political and social climate go through historic change, the band embarks on a national tour across the island to defend their cultural impact and livelihood—to prove that frikis still have a voice in Cuba.
The filmmaker Nicholas Brennan is a former graduate from NY’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has worked for ABC News and The New York Times. In addition to brands like AT&T, Intel, Toyota, and American Express. He gained experience in filmmaking with short documentaries like No Limits: A Baseball League for Autistic Children in New Your City, Rock Hard Havana, A Marine’s Guide to Finishing and Mama. Currently he is employed by CNN’s Courageous Studios.
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I was connected with the filmmaker to talk about the making of Los Últimos Frikis. He spoke about having originally made the short film and why make the full length film. Brennan also shared how he learned about the Cuban metal band Zeus and some of his experiences while filming the band members.
Los Últimos Frikis is now available to stream on Topic