Last Days in Havana (Fernando Pérez) Review – Berlinale 2017


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By Sandra M. Ríos (@sandritamrios)

Director Fernando Pérez won two prizes in the last version of Havana Film Festival: Special Jury Prize and Best Soundtrack for his last production Last Days in Havana that has been selected on the section “Berlinale Special” these days.

We watch on this movie a story of modern Cuba, the one that lives between the hope of a desired change and the aftermath of revolution and a blockaded country for United States during almost six decades.

Its main characters with completely opposite personalities reflect the contrast between those Cuban who have learned to live with Castro regime and those who want to escape.

Miguel is a 45 man who wishes to travel to New York but visa is taking more time that he is expecting. Meanwhile, Miguel works as a busyboy in a restaurant. Diego is 45 too and he is his roommate. Diego has AIDS and for that reason he stays in a little bed, however, he desires to win the world. Miguel is bitter, hostile and unsociable. Diego is charming and has a great spirit. They live together and has an unlikely friendship. In fact, we don’t know what are the secrets behind this relationship, their motivation and the real reasons to be together, and it doesn’t really matter.

Miguel probably is a reflection of those who don’t tolerate a conformist society that has accepted all communism limitations, while Diego has understand that behaviour as a beautiful or natural act of survival. We have here as fine-drawn as accurate political background, specially these days when world is having a heated discussing about new borders imposed. Miguel is also a reflection about what should be the real freedom of a men, the one that let them to live as they want and where they want. The final scene makes it clear. On the other hand, Diego represents diversity and not only because he is gay, but also this character repeats the necessity to accept any kind of difference.

Last Days in Havana is not a raging political feature film, it hasn’t that pretensions. It is a more human nature and uses some topics which are very easy to connect (they are universal) like friendship, love, solidarity and compassion. It is a movie with great and joyful spirit, with a hope message and good and motivated characters (each one in their own ways).

Last exhibition of this film in co-production with Spain will be next Sunday February 19th at 6pm at Cubix 8.

Last Days in Havana photo gallery

Cast & Crew

  • Director: Fernando Pérez
  • Screenplay: Fernando Pérez, Abel Rodríguez
  • Running Time: 93 minutos
  • Genre: drama
  • Cast: Jorge Martínez, Patricio Wood, Gabriela Ramos, Cristian Jesús Pérez, Coralia Veloz, Carmen Solar, Yailene Sierra, Ana Gloria Buduén
  • Edition: Rodolfo Barro
  • Cinematography: Raúl Pérez Ureta
  • Art direction: Celia Ledón
  • Countries: Cuba, Spain

Press material courtesy: The Film Agency.


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