Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Cuba Libre

Year: 2003
Country: USA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Run Time: 110 minutes

Actor Harvey Keitel teamed with a roster of Cuban-American talent - including exiled actors Reinaldo Miravalles and Pedro Renteria - to evoke this misty coming-of-age reverie set in 1958, in the last year of the Battista regime. In the town of Holguin, a boy at the local cinema watches the Doris Day melodrama "Julia" when the screen goes black in mid-cliffhanger. Castro's rebels have destroyed the power plant. It stays dark for months as Hollywood gloss and the magic of childhood gives way to the sweat, blood and tears of a land in turmoil. Father leaves the island, a revolutionary squares off against police and the boy's shady grandpapa Che (Keitel) tries to fix deals and protect the family like always. Throughout, the boy's secret companion is a mysterious, sleek blonde named Julia, who looks curiously like Doris Day. Like "Cinema Paradiso" (14th CIFF, 1990) and "Movie Days" (19th CIFF, 1995), CUBA LIBRE speaks the universal language of celluloid, the stuff that dreams are made of, in a world that sometimes seems nightmarish.

Screenplay
Juan Gerard, Letvia Arza-Goderich

Producer
Harvey Keitel, Letvia Arza-Goderich, Bonnie Timmerman, Andrew Pfeffer

Cinematography
Kramer Morgenthau

Editing
Duncan Burns

Principal Cast
Harvey Keitel, Iben Hjejle, Gael Garcia Bernal, Daniel Lugo, Gabino Diego, Gellerman Baralt, Diana Bracho, Andhy Mendez, Enrique Almarante

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