7.2/10
23,986
139 user 56 critic

Before Night Falls (2000)

Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
The life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas.

Director:

Julian Schnabel

Writers:

Cunningham O'Keefe, Lázaro Gómez Carriles (as Lazaro Gomez Carriles) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olatz López Garmendia ... Reinaldo's Mother (as Olatz Lopez Garmendia)
Giovani Florido ... Young Reinaldo
Loló Navarro Loló Navarro ... Reinaldo's Grandmother
Batan Silva ... Reinaldo's Father (as Sebastián Silva)
Carmen Beato ... Teacher
Cy Schnabel Cy Schnabel ... Smallest School Child (as Cy)
Olmo Schnabel ... Smallest School Child
Vito Schnabel ... Teenage Reinaldo (as Vito Maria Schnabel)
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... Reinaldo's Grandfather (as Pedro Armendáriz)
Diego Luna ... Carlos
Lia Chapman ... Lolin
Sean Penn ... Cuco Sanchez
Jerzy Skolimowski ... Professor
Aquiles Benites Aquiles Benites ... Translator
Ewa Piaskowska Ewa Piaskowska ... Pretty Blonde Student
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

poet | novelist | gay | homosexual | cuba | See All (100) »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, some language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Julian Schnabel's wife plays Javier Bardem's mother. All of Schnabel's children have bit roles as well. See more »

Quotes

Reinaldo Arenas: Walking along streets that collapse from crumbling sewers. Past buildings that you jump to avoid because they will fall on you. Past grim faces that size you up and sentence you. Past closed shops, closed markets, closed cinemas, closed parks, closed cafes. Sometimes showing dusty signs, justifications: "CLOSED FOR RENOVATION," "CLOSED FOR REPAIRS." What kind of repairs? When will these so-called renovations be finished? When at last will they begin? Closed... closed... closed... everything ...
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Alternate Versions

The UK version is cut by 18 secs to remove a shot of a live bird caught in a noose. See more »


Soundtracks

Fefita
Written by José Urfé
Published by Peer International Corp.
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User Reviews

 
A Bardem classic
13 January 2008 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

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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Details

Official Sites:

New Line

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish | Russian | French

Release Date:

23 February 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Antes que anochezca See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$85,230, 25 December 2000

Gross USA:

$4,242,892

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,601,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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