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Grammy-winning 'Patria y Vida' became an international protest phenomenon. Now it will be the subject of a documentary

Cuba rapper Yotuel Romero (center) and other Cuban singers in the music video for Patria y Vida
Cuba rapper Yotuel Romero (center) and other Cuban singers in the music video of Patria y Vida

Two of the anthem's composers are partnering with a production company to make a film about how it was created — and then created a rallying cry for Cubans.

A week ago the Cuban protest song “Patria y Vida” won the Latin Grammy for Song of the Year — and became an even bigger cultural phenomenon. Now it's set to be the subject of a film.

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“Patria y Vida” was already an international sensation when it took two Latin Grammys last week (including Best Urban Song). That’s because it was the anthem for unprecedented anti-government protests that shook communist Cuba last summer.

A feature-length documentary now in production will look at how “Patria y Vida” was created and how it became a freedom cry for Cubans. Two of the song’s writers and performers — Yotuel Romero and Beatriz Luengo — are partnering with Exile Content studios in Los Angeles to make the film.

The hip-hop track was written and performed by several singers living in Cuba and Miami. Its title means “Homeland and Life" — a critical poke at the Cuban regime slogan “Patria o Muerte,” or “Homeland or Death.” Its chorus tells the island’s dictatorship “ya se acabó” — Your time is up.

Two of “Patria y Vida’s” composers — Maykel Osorbo and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara — are in jail in Cuba now for their roles in the song.