The Havana Film Festival is in full swing in New York City. More than 50 films from and about Latin America will be featured, many of which have never been shown commercially. I’m not going to be able to attend any of the showings this year, and I’m sure many of you won’t be able to attend either. So I’m listing the Cuban films below — along with a taste of some of them. ENJOY!
ADORABLES MENTIRAS [ADORABLE LIES] | Gerardo Chijona | 1991: Cuba-Spain (fiction – 108 min.)
A young man with dreams of becoming a screenwriter and film director seeks the attention of the beautiful Sissy by pretending to be a film director looking for a non-professional actress. Thus begins a relationship where the two act not as they really are but as they want to be.
AFINIDADES | Jorge Perugorria & Vladimir Cruz | 2010: Cuba-Spain (fiction – 87 min.)
Faced with emptiness and a lack of answers for the many problems of the contemporary world, the main characters in this story take refuge in sex. But the results are fleeting, and this solution has unpredictable consequences. You can see the trailer below.
ASEPSIA | Gustavo Vinagre | 2010: Cuba (documentary – 6 min.)
Marta lives in a small Cuban village. Her life consists of cooking and of washing her clothes in an old Russian washing machine. But nothing is what it seems and the arrival of a film crew will uncover some secrets.
BOLETO AL PARAISO [TICKET TO PARADISE] | Gerardo Chijona | 2010: Cuba- SPAIN-Venezuela (drama – 88 min.)
Eucine is a teenager running away from her father’s sexual abuse. On the road, she connects with Alejandro, a young boy who escapes to Havana after robbing a pharmacy. Together, they will search for a paradise that will change their lives. You can see an interview with the director below.
CASA VIEJA [OLD HOUSE] | Lester Hamlet | 2010-Cuba (fiction – 95 min.)
Based on the Cuban piece The Old House by Abelardo Estorino, the film tells the story of Esteban, who returns home after a 14-year absence when he learns of the imminent death of his father.
CUANDO TERMINA EL BAILE [AFTER THE BALL IS OVER] | Gerardo Chijona | 1985-Cuba (documentary – 10 min.)
The documentary explores the world of models and cabaret dancers, and the quotidian conflicts between their professional and private lives.
ESO QUE ANDA [VAN VAN FEVER] | Ian Padron | 2010-Cuba (documentary – 70 minutes)
The documentary follows Los Van Van, the most popular band in Cuba since 1969, during their most recent tour in Cuba attended by more that 1 million people. It examines the band’s history and future plans.
INTERACTIVO, LA PELICULA [INTERACTIVO, THE MOVIE] | Tane Martinez | 2011-Cuba (documentary – 72 min.)
Interactivo is a Cuban band led by Roberto Carcasses. The launch of its new album “Cubans Around the World” drives the story as we journey with their members through a profound meditation on migration, freedom, and Cuban music.
Here is the link to Interactivo’s Facebook Page.
PASAJEROS [PASSENGERS] | Claudia Alves | 2009-Cuba (documentary – 14 min.)
In a country where nobody can travel freely to foreign countries, every passenger continues stubbornly through their journey while coming and going in their daily routine.
PERFECTO AMOR EQUIVOCADO [LOVE BY MISTAKE] | Gerardo Chijona | 2004-Cuba (drama – 94 min.)
As he approaches middle age, successful writer Julio del Toro’s peaceful life spins out of control when the women in his life begin to make decisions that take all of their lives in unexpected directions.
SI SEGUIMOS VIVOS [IF ALIVE] | Juliana Fanjual | 2010-Cuba (documentary – 23 min.)
A brief look at the life of an elderly group of women who live in a nursing home. Their bodies, their voices, their time, their rituals, their obsession.
THE ILLUSION | Susana Barriga | 2008-Cuba (documentary – 24 min.)
After 26 years of picturing her father in her imagination, Susana travels from Cuba to England to see him for the first time in her life. Now, she tries to recall his face, but all she has are a few hazy images secretly recorded.
UNA VIDA PARA DOS [A LIFE FOR TWO] | Gerardo Chijona | 1984-Cuba (documentary – 18 min.)
A pair of internationalist veterans, united by a beautiful, strong, and emotional relationship for 56 years, retell their experiences during the fight against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War and World War Two.
YO DUAL | Alana Simoes | 2007-Cuba (documentary – 15 min.)
A documentary on a Cuban artist dealing with the duality of his own personality that reflects aspects of the duality of his own country.
Check out the full program of the 12th Havana Film Festival in New York and give them your support. I’d like to hear from you. Send me your movie review!
Photograph by Lisa Reynolds Wolfe.