29 April 2018 | Raven-1969
Whimsical and Enchanting Mediation about the Benefits of Reaching Out to Strangers
The world turned upside down for many countries as well as people when the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 1990s. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev on the Mir space station was literally left to drift in space. Cuba shared his fate in more ways than one. As chance would have it, and based on real events, an amateur radio operator in Havana reaches the cosmonaut. Having spent some time in the country, Sergei "speaks Cuban" and the two marginalized men discover they have much in common. At first the friendship is based purely on the pleasure of talking to a stranger, but soon it morphs into much more. As Sergei and Sergio risk censorship and worse for speaking up about their respective plights, they realize the worth of having friends in high, low and different places.
Gazing upon a meteor shower from above earth's atmosphere, listening to a father and daughter talk about the stars and more, I was delighted by the film's many perspective shifts, contrasts, and cool little tech and art additions. Different genres including politics, humor, fantasy, drama and documentary, are combined in an eclectic and satisfying way. The romance, if there is intended to be one, is clunky and could, along with other aspects of the film, have been better developed, yet altogether the film is a whimsical, appealing and enchanting mediation about the benefits of reaching out to strangers. Seen at the Miami Film Festival.