Maribel has it bad: what unrequited love feels like when you’re only nine
‘I get tickles… like on the first day I saw him and fell in love with him.’
Maribel is in love – or, at least the innocent version of it that a nine-year-old might experience. Sitting in her bedroom in Pueblo Textil in Cuba, dressed in her school uniform, Maribel recounts her seemingly unrequited feelings for her classmate José. While she daydreams of hearing José say he loves her back and growing old beside him, it seems that, for now, she’ll have to settle for the mutual affections of her fluffy white rabbit, Doc. Sweet, refreshingly simple and flecked with melancholy, the US artist Horatio Baltz’s film is easy to love, even as it evokes the painful experience of tender feelings denied – a tough break at any age. Baltz shot and edited the short in 2017 under what he calls the ‘steely-eyed gaze’ of the filmmaking legend Werner Herzog during a filmmaking workshop he led in Cuba.