I've never been anywhere in my life like it and I only really noticed it when I returned to Los Angeles and then Berlin. Everybody is much better off in these places, there is not poverty like in Cuba, but everybody complains about things.
On the contrary a film can promote the idea of change without any political message whatsoever but in its form and language can tell people that they can change their lives and contribute to progressive changes in the world.
Filmmakers and critics wrote about each other and sometimes very harshly. This no longer exists.
Many of the critics today get airline tickets, hotel accommodation, bags, beautiful photographs, gifts and other expenses paid by the distributors, and then are supposed to write serious articles about the movie.
It's very hard to find critics or a magazine today that will publish material that is genuinely independent and written without any concern about being cut off some distributor's list or not be invited or flown into screenings.
For us music is mainly part of the entertainment world and is often a luxury.
For years all I seemed to be doing was lobbying politicians and others to persuade them that European culture needed movies, and that we had to protect it.
Maybe it's the music that enables them to function like that, to always take everything as it comes and never complain about the misery, hardship or injustice.
In this age of consumerism film criticism all over the world - in America first but also in Europe - has become something that caters for the movie industry instead of being a counterbalance.
Havana is one of the poorest cities I've been in the last few years and yet we were never asked for money from anybody during our stay.
I was in the forefront of that discussion for many years and as chairman and president of the European Film Academy had many long debates over this.
Butte was once a grand city. To me, that city is like one big stage for Edward Hopper. You could put your camera anywhere, and you felt you were looking at his paintings.
I really wanted the film to be shown in the US because Cuba, for a huge section of the American public, has been eradicated from view.