Friday, March 10, 2006

La Peña and SF Latino Film Festival presents Habana, Havana

La Peña and SF Latino Film Festival presents
Habana, Havana
Wednesday March 15, 2006. 7pm / $6
3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley. 510-849-2568

Habana, Havana. 2004 dir. Alberto Arvelo. Venezuela, Cuba. 80 min. Spanish w/English subtitles.

Venezuelan director Alberto Arvelo subtly captures the lives of two Cubans in a fictional film with a strong documentary style. Raúl Eguren gives a commanding performance as the mature gentleman from the Cuban countryside who journeys to Havana on a quest to buy elegant shoes for his young daughter while the other main character, a woman, goes through her daily routine, walking in the city. Havana reveals itself as a big city in which everything good and bad is possible. The paths of the two protagonists cross by accident in an unexpected way when a third person, a confused and aggressive young man, assaults the old gentleman when heís walking on the Malecón. After that, the man and the woman are together for only an afternoon and an evening. A few precious hours of compassion and tenderness preludes an unforeseen tragedy. All around them is Havana, perhaps the strongest and most important character in the film.

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