Photo © Stephen Friedman

Film: The Ultimate Recyclers

Behind Havana's closed doors, mechanics' garages are teeming with life – all of them working to achieve the impossible.

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By Stephen Friedman

Filmmaker

6 Jul 2018 - 7 Minute Read

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Seeing all the old, classic cars driving around Havana, we wondered how the drivers kept them running. When the US placed an embargo on Cuba in the '60s, all imports stopped, so mechanics had to get creative. None of the parts on these cars were original – they’d been salvaged from other cars, washing machines, whatever the mechanics could find.

It was amazing to see how they did it, and made us question our own skills – we have no idea how our own cars work, let alone how to fix them. That ability wasn’t passed down to us because of the environment we grew up in. But, for Cubans, reusing, recycling, and thinking out of the box is a way of life.

Watch more videos in this series.

WATCH → Hairstyles on the Streets of Havana
WATCH → The Story of Salsa
WATCH → When It Rains, It Pours
WATCH → Street Art and Creativity
WATCH → Havana's Secret Restaurants
WATCH → Hot Pink in Havana
WATCH → A Local Carpenter

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Stephen was born in South Africa. A former professional surfer and male model, he made his mark in the television and film industry by creating, producing, and selling his first title ("The Blueprint") to Fox Networks at the age of 23. His production company, Save Your Day Films, has dozens of projects in development and preproduction, covering reality TV, animation, documentaries, and features.

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