25 April 1999 | gonz30
Witty, but reeks of false romantic and political pretensions
This movie, a Cuban-Spanish co-production, was written by a Spaniard who admittedly remembers his mother's nostalgia for Havana of the 50's. The first problem lies there in: the Havana of the 50's is not the Havana of the 90's these ladies just left. How can you romanticize or be nostalgic about America's Beirut? Secondly, the refugees from Havana, and their overly capitalistic (in the worst of contexts) aunt are all Cuban state paid and controlled actors. They appear in most if not all examples of this new 90s genre, the Cuban-European co-production, where Cuba supplies the raw materials (actors, technical support, sets, locations) and the Europeans (WHAT ELSE?)the money and distribution. The Cuban government gets its much needed hard currency this way, and shows a gullible world how conscious Cubans are of their plight and what an open society they live in (STRAWBERRY AND CHOCOLATE, one of the first of this genre is akin to the Chinese depicting their compassion on Tianemen Square).
The film stars the omni present Jorge Perugorria (one of Cuba's cash cows),and former Communist propaganda movie star Daisy Granados as the evil, capitalist aunt, as well as the daughter of one of the Cuban regime's signature musicians, the very loyal to the party Silvio Rodriguez. Kind of like an Albanian Kossovar family drama made by Milosevic's handpicked Serb stars. A fantasy, and enjoyable at that if you can understand the irony of it all.