7 Days in Havana is a snapshot of Havana in 2011: a contemporary portrait of this eclectic city, vital and forward-looking, told through a single feature-length movie made of 7 chapters, directed by 7 internationally acclaimed directors.
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It's so full of clichés! (If you don't know what to make of your dialogues show people dancing and singing.) There are only two remarkable exceptions: Elia Suleiman with his laconic puzzle of absudities and Gaspard Noé with his investigation of rituals underneath the surface of modern life.
Globally interesting and diverse. Its best merit is to escape the logic of defense/attack of the regime. Neither panfletarian nor anti-communist. Some, like Gaspar Noe's are an art piece. Other, could end sooner and be perfect, like Kusturica's. Medem's is an unfortunate break of tone, and Elia Suleiman a very fortunate and intriguing one. The choice to have the same actors/characters is good but not always achieved.
Siete historias que se desarrollan en un lugar surrealista como es la Habana, representan magníficamente ese pedazo de tierra donde la vida se vive poco común: música, baile, religión, sincretismo, y una gran solidaridad distingue a los cubanos del resto del mundo. El mar, el calor, el trópico, la sensualidad y la excelente fotografía hacen de esta antología un verdadero postre. Y ni que decir de la buena música!
Elia Suleiman' s short is terrible.Gaspar Noe' s film is not bad, but it does not suit Cuba . Better for Africa or S.America. L.Cantet seems OK. Finally, film is not telling Cuba. Something else or somewhere else, in directors' idea. Better study about Cuba a little bit, first. Then make a film. I really
don' t like second class film directors.
Of course, as a collection of short films, they are uneven... but so much that I wonder who put those directors together in the first place!!
The ones by Benicio del Toro, Trapero and Cantent work quite well. Julio Medem: What a disaster! I kind of liked some of his films... but maybe I should watch them again...
Gaspar Noe: I must confess I haven't seen any of his films, but I don't intend to after this short!
It is a very enjoyable film where you are always tying to think it might be a puzzle film with forked paths, but in the end the stories are good in themselves and hang on very well on their own, for its drama, its romance, its suspense and its humour. A good example of how these kind of films can be good exercises and not just 'je t'aime...' ones...
Personally, the inclusion of Kusturica is a real delight...
*2.5* Not a bad film overall, somewhat similar in its structure and idea to Paris, je t'aime, but not nearly as strong. Most of the stories feel underdeveloped, sketchy and don't quite put any interesting messages forward, apart from 'this is what life in Havana's like'. Otherwise, it's a curious glimpse into daily lives and routines of ordinary Cuban citizens, stripped of touristic-cinematic sparkle, which is cool.