This Oscar nominated film is the story of two men who are opposites, one gay, the other straight, one a fierce communist, the other a fierce individualist, one suspicious, the other accepting, and how they come to love each other.
Diego, a cultivated, homosexual and skeptical young man, falls in love with a young heterosexual communist full of prejudices and doctrinal ideas. First come rejection and suspicion, but also fascination. Fresa y chocolate is a coming-of-age story, told through the development of a great friendship which overcomes incomprehension and intolerance.Written by
Landmark Cuban film about the plight of homosexual artists in Communist Cuba.
This film isn't just an "odd couple" story, as it can appear at a first glance. This is a landmark Cuban film about the plight of homosexual artists in Communist Cuba. Being homosexual in Cuba in the 60's and 70's, maybe even the 80's, could mean incarceration or being sent to "colonies", often hard labour camps. What makes this film extraordinary is that it was made by a Cuban director who had been himself part of the Communist intelligenzia at the beginning, but could still be objective and therefore critical of the intolerance of real socialism. What also makes the film extraordinary is that the film itself was a box office success in Cuba and helped change attitudes towards homosexuality. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, or Titón, as he was known in Cuba, is the greatest and best loved Cuban filmmaker, with a trademark black humour, best exemplified in his outstanding films Memorias del subdesarrollo (Memories of Underdevelopment) (1968) and La Muerte de un burócrata (Death of a Bureaucrat) (1966). His last film, Guantanamera (1994), which he made when ill with cancer, is a black comedy of "funeral" errors and criticism of Cuban bureaucracy. This is his legacy, the way he wanted his public to remember him, laughing at death.
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