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 ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I missed this film when it was shown as part of a Latin American Film cycle about a couple of years ago. Thanks to the Sundance network, I was able to catch up with it recently. Having seen a couple of Humberto Solas' films, I was curious about this one. It is not one of the director's best efforts but it gives the viewer an idea of what is going on in Cuba, a land so near, but yet so far away!
The returning Roberto goes back to Havana to find a mother he hasn't seen in 32 years. As a young boy, he was taken by his father to the country of the enemy, never to return until now. It is curious how Roberto's mind has not changed in the years he spends away from Cuba. He falls right in step with a culture that must be foreign to him now, yet he is so much aware in his own heart where his loyalties are. In order to find his mother, Roberto goes to the extreme end of the island, literally.
The film presents a hard panorama for the average person that lives in the island. Even though there is a semblance of criticism, it is always presented in a way that serves the regime propaganda machinery. All what happens there is due to the evil American imperialism, but never because of the government failures. How can anyone justify a losing cause that has lasted this long? It is only for more evolved political minds to debate that issue.
What really is surprising is how everything has a price in US dollars. The lesson seems to be that only those that have access to them will survive in the system. It is pitiful that Marta, Pilar's neighbor is forced into prostitution. The only explanation is she wants to leave the country! The way Antonio swindles Roberto by charging inflated prices for his services is also condoned since the Cuban has the upper hand over the naive visitor.
The travelogue part of the film is sometimes pointless. The joke about the Cuban transportation system goes on too long. The only good thing about this part of the movie is that we get to see the interior of the island which not too many get to see.
Jorge Perigurria has done better on other films. Isabel Santos, an actress that has appeared in other Cuban films is much better. At least she is more convincing as the one who, for circumstances beyond her will gets to stay in that country and has to eke out a life out of whatever she can get her hands into. She is the survivor!
Let's hope the director finds a better idea for his next film.
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