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When his father dies, a Cuban man who was raised in the United States, learns that he was not abandoned by his mother but illegally taken out of Cuba. He goes back to the island and is helped in his search by a cousin and a taxi driver. Written by
Edgar Soberón Torchia <email@example.com>
An exiled Cuban goes back to his motherland, 32 years after he was taken to the USA by his father. We witness a return to the roots, as in Alejo Carpentier's classic story. We also witness a road movie, a subtle love story and a mural of Cuban life, in an overall nice little film.
Only the ideological premise on which the film is built is fake. Social criticism of the situation in Cuba is minimum (yet, it is barely at the acceptance level of the bureaucrats who rule the island). If a bike is stolen, it is by a thief who has been in jail; if buildings are half-destroyed, they are being repaired; if a the neighbor is a "jinetera", it's because she wants to leave the country; if the characters are sent wrongly to jail, everything settles finely a few hours later. No hunger (even smiling children with ice creams), no police State who represses santeros, all the houses nicely decorated. We only get one blackout and several transportation problems.
And the key of the film -Roberto's unhappiness because he is at the US where he doesn't belong, in contrast with the "happy" islanders- is impossible to sustain. In the most important scene, in the middle of a town plaza, surrounded by locals, Roberto claims he's unhappy because he's a nowhere man. If that was to happen in the real Cuba, tens of people would tell him: "You can worry about your existential problems because you have three meals a day!", to say the least.
We don't know what happened to Roberto. But I can bet that, if this tormented character decided to stay in Cuba, with his mother, his cousin and his regained roots, he'd regret it loudly.
The direction is feeble at times (is this the same Solás of "Lucía"?), the audio is terrible, but the music is super, some scenes are very good (the Santera, the arrival of the mother) and some of the acting is great (I particularly enjoyed Limonta's portrait of a typical Cuban cab driver)
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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