76: Suite Habana (LAFF 2011)

Suite Habana

(This review is crossposted as part of The House Next Door’s coverage of the 2011 LA Film Fest.) The 2003 film Suite Habana is the Cuban film at the festival most disconnected from questions of politics, mostly because it’s also the most disconnected from questions of narrative. Director Fernando Pérez crafts a solid entry in the genre […]

75: Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba (LAFF 2011)

Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba

(This review is crossposted as part of The House Next Door’s coverage of the 2011 LA Film Fest.) Operation Peter Pan was a facet of the powder keg that was early 1960s U.S.-Cuban relations, less visible than the Bay of Pigs or the Missile Crisis, but with its own traumatic historical legacy. Supported by the CIA […]

74: Boleto al Paraiso (Ticket to Paradise) (LAFF 2011)

Miriel Cejas and Héctor Medina in Boleto al paraiso

(This review is crossposted as part of The House Next Door’s coverage of the 2011 LA Film Fest.) Boleto al Paraiso, directed by Gerardo Chijona, is somewhat more explicit in its political examination. It’s set during the Cuban “special period” following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting economic downturn, taking us on a […]

73: Habana Eva (LAFF 2011)

Prakriti Maduro and Juan Carlos García in Habana Eva

(This review is crossposted as part of The House Next Door’s coverage of the 2011 LA Film Fest.) The representation of Cuba in cinema is exceptionally difficult to separate from its political context. Whenever the island is invoked in the movies, narratives turn into statements, if not full-blown mystery plays, designed for the exorcism of geopolitical […]

66: Unfinished Spaces (LAFF 2011)

Unfinished Spaces

(This review is crossposted as part of The House Next Door’s coverage of the 2011 LA Film Fest.) After Fidel Castro’s ascendancy in 1959, the entire island of Cuba was swept up in a wave of revolutionary ardor: For those Cubans who didn’t see the revolution as the end of the world, it was a new […]