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The Cuban (2019)

1:21 | Trailer
When a naive pre-med student named Mina gets her first job in a nursing home, an unexpected friendship with Luis, an elderly Cuban musician, reignites her love of music and changes her life forever.


Sergio Navarretta
2 wins. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Ana Golja ... Mina
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Luis Garcia
Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Bano Ayoub
Lauren Holly ... Nurse Baker
Giacomo Gianniotti ... Kris
Shiva Negar ... Zahra Karzai
Jonathan Keltz ... Ethan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Layla Alizada ... Shireen
Olga Consorti ... Associate Producer (credit only)
Tabby Johnson Tabby Johnson ... Clarita
Margaret Lamarre Margaret Lamarre ... Mrs. Neil
Kane Mahon ... Atesh
Gerry Mendicino Gerry Mendicino ... Dr. Rosetti
Pazz Neglia ... Doorman
Emily Piggford ... Nurse Vella
Learn more

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When a naive pre-med student named Mina gets her first job in a nursing home, an unexpected friendship with Luis, an elderly Cuban musician, reignites her love of music and changes her life forever.

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User Reviews

The Cuban - A tableau of excellence.
22 May 2020 | by TPompilioSee all my reviews

A proudly Canadian indie drama about the powers of music and its ability to transcend disease, age, religion, culture, gender, and pretty much any other construct/label you can imagine! You smile as much as you cry, which lends fantastically toward the film's authenticity. It resonates with a sympathy that crosses many barriers. It is rich in acting ability, observational detail, and emotional focus!

One of the things I appreciate most about this film is that writer Alessandra Piccione and Director Sergio Navaretta don't tread delicately in presenting the physical, mental and emotional tolls that both Dementia and Alzheimer's disease take not only on the afflicted individual but on everyone who comes close to that person.

All character dynamics are handled with fierce skill and keen eyes for nuance. It is obvious the entire cast and crew worked tirelessly on character development! The production team's effort behind this movie is clearly a force to be reckoned with!

Louis Gosset Jr's performance as Luis Garcia is poignantly perfect. He depicts an elderly Cuban musician (a legend of sorts much like the actor is) who is battling dementia and Alzheimer's disease. One of the main settings is a long term care facility/nursing home where Luis' family has all but banished him to live out the remainder of his life. It is here that he encounters young Mina.

Ana Golja's character Mina is a nursing student. She wastes very little time creating a vivid memory centre of sorts for Mr. Garcia by resurrecting memories of his musical past via lively Cuban jazz. In return...he renews her passion in life through him - music.

Shohreh Aghdashloo plays the nursing home's administrator, Bano Ayoub - an Afghani immigrant who shows a professional detachment from the residents. She flirts masterfully with hot and cold emotions toward her niece Mina (and more importantly, toward her love interest - a non-Muslim student named Kris portrayed by Giacomo Gianniotti). She pushes her niece to go to medical school and Golja skillfully portrays underlying resentment toward her aunt's decisions about her own life's purpose.

The cinematography/visual effects are outstanding! Whether on a Brantford, Ontario terrace, or on a Cuban streetscape, there are several "gasp-worthy" moments in the film. The use of vintage lenses when the film pans back decade to Luis's life in Cuba was a stellar artistic choice! I adore the effect! Well done.

Editing...I can only imagine the cutting room floor for this film! They say the Editor's job is never done, but man does she nail it! Jane MacRae...your work doesn't go unnoticed by us layman types (moviegoers)! 😊

The most riveting aspect of the film for me was carefully observing Gosset, Gianniotti and Golj's characters - trying to figure out who is the teacher and who is the student in any given scene kept me glued to the screen! The role reversals truly are a merry-go-round of wonder and delight!

Keep an eye on The Cuban. It just may steal more than your heart!

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Release Date:

7 December 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cuban See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

S.N.A.P. Films, 920 Films See more »
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