Bitter Sugar (1996)
"Azúcar amarga" (original title)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  9 May 1997 (Turkey)
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Gustavo is a young Havana Communist who believes in the revolution; he hopes for a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering in Prague. But his faith in the new Cuba is tested: his ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mayte Vilán ...
Miguel Gutiérrez ...
Dr. Tomás Valdez
Larry Villanueva ...
Luís Celeiro ...
Prof. García
Teresa Maria Rojas ...
Caridad Ravelo ...
Victor Checo ...
Edmundo, Yolanda's Father
Virgilio Martí ...
Guaguanco Singer
Tony Almont ...
Dread Locks / Rock Band: Congas and Voice
Félix Germán ...
Resort Security Guard
Augusto Feria ...
Hotel Security Guard
Alejandro Gonzáles ...
Interrogator (as Alejandro Gonzales)


Gustavo is a young Havana Communist who believes in the revolution; he hopes for a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering in Prague. But his faith in the new Cuba is tested: his father, a psychiatrist, can make four times as much playing piano at a hotel for foreigners; his sweetheart, Yolanda, wants a career as a dancer and longs for the riches of Miami; his younger brother Bobby simply wants to play rock music, and as a result is in constant trouble with the authorities. When Bobby takes a shocking step of revolt and Gustavo is refused service at a foreigners-only bar, the contradictions in his resolve to become a "new man" push him to the breaking point. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 May 1997 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Bitter Sugar  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$30,472 (USA) (11 October 1996)


$388,730 (USA) (27 December 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Very bitter sugar and film too
29 December 2002 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

A film with several shortcomings: 1. I can assert that when a scholarship is given in Cuba to study in the country or outside the country this is accomplished nearly immediately. The plot is ran during the end of 80s- beginning of 90s, so it was wrong to show Czechoslovakia giving a scholarship in aeronautics. The latter was always studied by Cubans in the former USSR but not in Prague. So it was wrong to include something here that may not happen at all. 2. If you do not like the Cuban government as it was the case of Gustavo's father, how can you have a big portrait of Fidel Castro in his house's hall? Nobody compels you to have a portrait of any Cuban leader in your house, this is up to you. 3. To me it is stupid to show someone getting HIV as a protest against the government. If you want to protest and to die for such a cause go to the street and do something more valuable against the regime, but do not kill yourself. 4. Gustavo was supposedly a good young communist but probably with a "double standard of morale" otherwise he would have not gone to eat leftovers in the restaurant where his father was playing piano. If you compare this film with Cuban ones like "Guantanamera", "Fresa y Chocolate" and "Lista de espera" we will all agree that these films have more realistic critics of what's going in Cuba than "Azúcar Amarga".

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