dir. Hubert Sauper 2019 Australia, United States, France 107 min.
2020 – FF Sundance
The latest documentary from Oscar-nominated director Hubert Sauper is an immersive portrait of “utopian” Cuba.

Waves crashing against a breakwater on the seashore, this dramatic image captures the spirit of a place that has endured decades of external pressure. On the streets of Havana, residents of all ages share their opinions about life in a colonized country, and the inner freedom they experience despite harsh sanctions. Academy Award® nominee Hubert Sauper (known to the festival audience for "Darwin's Nightmare" and "We Come As Friends") creates an engaging and metaphorical portrait of post-colonial, "utopian" Cuba.

The descriptions of the waves of imperialism that shaped Cuba's history provide a deeper understanding of the impact of longstanding external oppression and the strong desire for independence that accompanied it. In 1898, after the US cruiser USS Maine exploded in Havana harbor, the country passed from Spanish to American domination. At the same time and place, a powerful tool of conquest was born: cinema as propaganda. The film explores a century of interventionism and myth-making. It also shows the extraordinary people of Havana - especially the children, whom it calls "young prophets." It also proves that Cuba is still partially frozen in time, delicately suspended between past and present.

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