Sunday, June 17, 2007

Free Havana (Habana Libre)

Free Havana is a documentary about gay life in Cuba. (The film's name comes from a hotel in the district with the most gay activity.) The stories told in the film are compelling, but the music score is so heavy-handed that it drove me to distraction. "Gee, people are being persecuted and oppressed; how am I supposed to feel about that? Oh, here comes the sad music — the same little clip over and over and over and over again — to bludgeon me over the head." The good news is that the film could be rescued by a fairly minor re-edit, but until then it's not worth the trouble.

Free Havana (Habana Libre), dir. Eliezer Perez Angueira, 2007 Cuba, 42 min., in Spanish with English subtitles

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screened with Odd People Out (Seres Extravagantes)

1 comment:

  1. not worth the trouble? i saw free havana as well, and while i agree about the music this review strikes me as more than a little unsympathetic. the stories were compelling, and while the filmmaker might not have been savvy enough to refrain from using music that here in american might be considered overdone and overly emotional, i think the fact that the director was able to make a film like this from a country where oppression and censorship are still a very real issue (not to mention how difficult it must have been to find the money and resources to make a film that is obviously not funded by the government from within a communist country) reason enough to see the film. i can only imagine the kind of personal risk he told to get these stories out here.