Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cigars: Fact & Fiction

By Gary Korb

This week I received emails about two creative people who have recently released original works that relate to the cigar industry.

The first was from Russell Griffin, an award-winning, independent filmmaker who has directed a documentary titled, "Los Tabaqueros." Mr. Griffin has an impressive resume, having directed both narrative and documentary films and TV commercials.

"Los Tabaqueros" is a short documentary about how premium hand rolled cigars are made and the passion the cigar makers (a/k/a "tabaqueros") put into their work.

"We focused our lenses on a small shop in perhaps the most famous cigar locale in America: Miami's Calle Ocho (8th Street)," writes Mr. Griffin. "How each type of leaf has a different purpose and why the 'tabaquero' chooses certain leaves to create unique flavor profiles."

Curious? You might want to check out the Los Tabaqueros trailer.

The second email was about a newly-released book by Lydia M. Kordalewski titled, Inside the Humidor. I have to admit that when I first glanced at this title, I thought it was a book about how to care for your cigars. But it's actually a work of fiction.

Inside the Humidor traces the tragedies and triumphs of four generations of the Sharkey family (not exactly the most Spanish sounding of surnames), who come from the Canary Islands to settle in Cuba during the late 1800's, and eventually control the cigar industry. Julio Sharkey opts out of Castro's Revolution and flees to Miami with his family and grandfather's humidor by way of the Dominican Republic in search of the American dream. In Florida, Julio rebuilds his cigar dynasty for his three sons to inherit. From there, the story chronicles the fate each son chooses for himself, among which include the good, the bad, and the ugly.

More details about the plot of Inside the Humidor can be found on the book's website.

I haven't seen "Los Tabaqueros" in its entirety, nor have I read Inside The Humidor; I'm just your humble reporter letting you know that they're out there. But since both Mr. Griffin and Ms. Kordalewski put a lot of effort into their respective works, I felt they deserved a little attention.

3 comments:

Richard Polanco said...

Wow I Read Inside The Humidor! Superb! Now Thats what I call a true writer with great Imagination! She should be a Director or make a movie on this! It would be a great hit!

Anonymous said...

A great book to read while smoking your favorite cigar.

Dagmar Mortenson said...

I read Kordalewski's book on a layover at Heathrow. I was fascinated with all her characters. Good read while sitting around on a layover.