Viva Cuba

"Excellent"

Viva Cuba Review


It's rare for Americans to get a peek inside Cuba, so the delightful Viva Cuba is an especially gratifying treat. Unusual vistas, lush tropical scenery, cute kids... what more could you want?

In a Havana elementary school where all the children line up each day in their red scarves to swear allegiance to Fidel, Che, and all those unshakable Communist principles, Jorge (Jorge Milo) and Malu (Malu Tarrau Broche) are at it again. The two kids, both about 10, are the kind of best friends who are inseparable until they have a fight, at which point they vow never to speak to each other again... until the next day, that is. They have a crush on each other a couple of years too soon. They're both pretty embarrassed by the depth of their connection.

The bad news is that Malu's mother has found a new husband who lives overseas, and once Malu's biological father signs a consent form, Malu will leave with her mother to start a new life in Germany. The idea is totally unacceptable to Malu, and when her beloved grandmother dies, she becomes even more committed to staying in Cuba so she can continue to play with Jorge and tend her grandmother's grave.

The only thing to do is to run away to the easternmost point of the island where her father, whom she doesn't even know, lives, and to convince him not to sign the paper. Soon enough, Jorge and Malu are off on a picaresque journey by foot, car, motorcycle sidecar, and train, making their way across an island not known for its extensive and efficient travel network.

Along the way the pair meet a variety of interesting strangers, lose what little money they have, steal food from a old blind woman, worry about being attacked by mythical creatures of the night, fight and make up, and get impressively far before their energy and will starts to flag. Back home, their two families, who hate each other, must put their differences aside to work with the police to launch a search. It becomes a race. Who will get to the end of the island first?

Writer/director Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti has a great time with his material, filming a sort of love letter to a beautiful island full of legends and mysteries. His two young stars are captivating, real naturals the camera can't resist. You'll long remember them and their final moments on screen, when Malberti creates one last memorable image that leaves their futures very much in doubt. You'll worry about them long after you've turned off the DVD player.

Bring me back some Havana Club.



Viva Cuba

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 11th October 2006

Distributed by: Epicentre Films

Production compaines: Quad Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti, Iraida Malberti Cabrera

Producer: Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky

Starring: Malú Tarrau Broche as Malú, Jorgito Miló Ávila as Jorgito, Luisa María Jiménez Rodríquez as Jorgito's Mother, Larisa Vega Alamar as Malú's Mother, Sara Cabrera as Malú's grandmother (as Sara Cabrera Mena), Luis Alberto García as Espeleolog (voice)

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