Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, he is in Havana. He meets the wealthy Pepe, an early lover; a love-hate relationship lasts for years. Openly gay behavior is a way to spite the government. His writing and homosexuality get him into trouble: he spends two years in prison, writing letters for other inmates and smuggling out a novel. He befriends Lázaro Gomes Garriles, with whom he lives stateless and in poverty in Manhattan after leaving Cuba in the Mariel boat-lift. When asked why he writes, he replies cheerfully, "Revenge."Written by
Almost every scene, according to Guillermo Rosas, was photographed with a chocolate-colored filter on the camera lens. This contributed a great deal to the distinctive colors and textures in the film, especially the skin tones, and the vibrancy in green hues. See more »
The difference between the Communist system and the capitalist system is that when they give you a kick in the ass, in the Communist system you have to applaud, in the capitalist system, you can scream.
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The UK version is cut by 18 secs to remove a shot of a live bird caught in a noose. See more »
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by Lou Reed
Published by EMI Blackwood Music Inc./Lou Reed Music
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
A Bardem classic
Reinaldo Arenas: Leonardo da Vinci was homosexual, so was Michelangelo, Socrates, Shakespeare, and almost every other figure that has formed what we have come to understand as beauty.
It is fascinating that the socialist government in Cuba would take the same position as right-wing religious leaders in our country. I am sure that James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and others like them would not be happy to know that they are no different than Fidel Castro.
This was the story of the poet Reinaldo Arenas, his mistreatment at the hands of the Cuban government, and his eventual escape to America in the Mariel boat lift; and Javier Bardem (Mar adentro, No Country for Old Men) was magnificent in the role that played almost like a documentary. The film was cinema-graphically brilliant, filmed near Cuba in the Yucatan. The soundtrack was equally impressive.
Besides Bardem, it also featured Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy). Depp played a dual role as Bon Bon, a transvestite and was also Lt. Victor, the head of the prison in which Arenas was incarcerated. I am continually amazed at Depp's versatility.
An outstanding Latino cast in a super film.
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