2005 - Argentina and Cuba - 95 minutes
Director - Jorge Dyszel
Writer - Jorge Dyszel and Audry Gutierrez Alea
My Rating - 3 of 5 Stars
Let me begin by stating that, if you are looking for a high quality film, this is not it. The whole thing comes off amateurish at best, but it is a film worth seeing because of the subject matter and a look at a world of which so many of us have little knowledge.
The plot of the tale is improbable - at best. It begins with a scene of Cubans boarding rafts in an attempt to escape to Florida. A young couple, she showing some apprehension, board their homemade raft and set out to sea.
The scene shifts to where we see two young men of substantial means relaxing on a beach in Florida. One of the men sees something floating in the water, investigates, and finds the young couple's raft. Scratched into the wood is the name of the couple. It just so happens that Tony, the finder of the raft, is of Cuban decent, and that the name on the raft is his Cuban mother's family name - I told you the plot was improbable.
Tony is a successful commodities trader from New York who, because of family history, knows little about his deceased mother's life and family in Cuba. Even after returning to his all consuming work schedule, Tony is filled with a new curiosity about his heritage.
He takes some time off and travels to Cuba with the hopes of finding the family of whomever boarded the raft. Once Tony arrives in Cuba, the probability quotient of the tale decreases even more for not only does he find the family of the owners of the raft, but the young woman had been rescued during a storm at sea and had returned to Cuba.
The family is not the same as Tony's mother so the young woman is not his cousin which is good because they eventually have an affair.
As I said, the movie - as far as movies go - is not very good. The acting is strained and the situations are mostly absurd, but there is a heart to the whole thing that makes it worthwhile. The viewer is given, according to what I have read, a fairly realistic view of everyday life in Cuba, and the ending of the film gives a genuine message about heart and homeland. If you have a spare hour and a half and are the least bit interested, I recommend giving this film a try.
December 15, 2007