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EL SUPER was recently relaunched here as the 20th anniversary celebration of its original release. Shot on a shoestring budget in 1977, EL SUPER remains the first and still the definitive film about the Cuban exile experience. The film's stars and directors have gone on to illustrious careers, though the title role's star passed away about a decade ago. The film's theme is universal: struggling to survive and get ahead in exile, and the ensuing breakdown of family and generational relationships. EL SUPER's title character is the superintendent of a New York City apartment building. His wife is portrayed by the now-reigning Queen (and Great Villainess) of Latin American telenovelas, Zully Montero. El Super and his wife have problems understanding their pot-smoking, disco-dancing teenage daughter, played by a young Elizabeth Pena (LONE STAR, RUSH HOUR), among the many difficulties they face. Directed by Leon Ichaso, a very young Cuban American (at the time), all the principals had pretty much experienced the drama they put on the screen. Ichaso went on to Hollywood to direct Wesley Snipes in SUGAR HILL, and TV's SINS OF THE CITY, before his most recent personal project BITTER SUGAR ("Azucar Amarga"). EL SUPER is available on video, and with the growing interest in the "Hispanic" minority in the United States, now is a good time to see it.
A fantastic film. I am Cuban, the daughter of exiles and I have never seen any other film that so captures Cuban life in the US. It is as though I'm back home at my grandparent's house, or reliving stories of my parents years living in New York. The nostalgia for Cuba, bittersweet memories, frustration, the conflict of growing up in the US but keeping your roots are captured so well, not to mention the language, and the mannerisms of Cubans. The acting is superb, in fact it feels unscripted and so natural.I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Cuban lifestyle. There are some problems with the sound, and the subtitles leave much to be desired, but aside from that, a great film.
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