6.2/10
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9 user 4 critic

Nada (2001)

In Havana, a post office branch is more than a place of bureaucratic rules and regulations to ensure effective public services. This is where Carla Perez works. A young dreamer, this ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Thais Valdés ...
Carla Pérez
Nacho Lugo ...
Cesar
Daisy Granados ...
Cunda
Paula Ali ...
Cuca
Verónica López ...
Concha
Luis Manuel Iglesias ...
Prof. Calzado
Raúl Eguren ...
El de la Empresa
Edith Massola ...
The Secretary
Octavio 'Churrisco' Rodriguez ...
El administrador
Raúl Pomares ...
El cartero
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susana Alonso
Elena Bolaños
Sara Cabrera
Micheline Calvert
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Storyline

In Havana, a post office branch is more than a place of bureaucratic rules and regulations to ensure effective public services. This is where Carla Perez works. A young dreamer, this government employee transforms boredom into a 'crossroads of feeling in writing'. More than merely sending and receiving letters, she aims to help her companions in finding happiness and love. Such good will can not go un-rewarded. Her exiled parents in Miami entered her name in the yearly U.S. immigration lottery. Unexpectedly, she receives a notice for her interview to get the 'green card'. Now she will have to opt between a future of her own in Cuba, and a future planned by others in Miami. Written by Gonz30

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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

30 May 2003 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Nada +  »

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Though the movie's main character (Carla Pérez) is fictional, the closing credits include an address where you can write to her. See more »

Soundtracks

Qué te pedí
Written by Mullens & De La Fuente
Performed by La Lupe
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User Reviews

 
Nothing
26 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

While the film-maker kept insisting this film is "nothing" I found it a brilliant piece of art. Filmed in black and white, but with certain items, emblems, and images in vibrant color, this film speaks volumes through it's manipulation of the art of film to say "nothing".

It is pure farce, poignant drama, and slapstick comedy all rolled into a love poem to Cuba.

While nothing in Nada should be taken too seriously, it never once panders to its audience with simple cheap laughs. Well, ok, some characters are certainly intended as pure caricatures, which others have rightly identified as in the style of "commedia d'ell arte". This is part of the film's joy. This is not to say that the film doesn't have some poignant moments.

Nada is the story of a bored and lonely postal worker in Havana named Carla who decides to play God with the letters that pass through her hands. Through a twist in fate, a spilled bit of coffee, Carla happens upon the world of the letter writers, those whose mail she mindlessly stamps "priority" on a daily basis. Suddenly she is confronted with the sadness and loneliness of not just her own life, but the world outside. For a lark she decides to re-write the letter ruined by the coffee spill, but instead of re-writing it as it had been written, she alters it.

In one of it's more brilliant and moving moments; using truly mesmerizing camera work, we listen as Carla re-writes a letter to a woman bent on ending her life. The woman's long flower patterned dress is in color. We follow this woman into an old empty house; following at a distance, as she finds her way to the bath. Carla has written her about the need to live life with a passion, and not to live simply a long life. We watch as the woman disrobes, and then slips into the bath tub, disappearing from the screen, the camera moves in slowly towards the tub. This deliberate and slow movement heightens the melodrama unfolding. Has she just climbed into an empty tub? Is this her way of ending an un-lived life? I won't spoil this moment here, you should see it for yourself.

The amazing thing about this moment, is that, as different as it is from much of the rest of the film, it doesn't feel out of place. Nor does the moment as we listen to Carla's re-write of a letter from a daughter to her father. We watch this man, thinking about the letter he has just read, as he moves slowly to the sea wall, the camera first facing him, and then slowly moving up over, and then behind him to look out to the sea with him. We don't linger, but the point has been made, for during this high tracking shot over him we have been listening to Carla's voice tell us of the love this daughter holds for her father, even while she hasn't seen him for years.

But again, Nada never takes itself seriously, it isn't about anything (please read a wry smile here). And soon we are always back to some silly moment with the nosy bureaucrats in the Post Office, or the noisome, neighbor. And finally Nada fulfills itself as a love story between Carla and Cesar, a fellow postal worker she enlists in her efforts to change the world around her.

Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti indicated at the SFIFF where I saw it, that Nada is the first of a trilogy he plans to make. For a first feature that can be both subtle at one moment, and hit you with a sledge-hammer the next I only hope the wait is very short.


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