Cuban Film Recommendations
Awarded Films

This page provides a Cuban movie list of some of the best Cuban films currently out there.

Death of a Bureaucrat (1966) , Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
Black comedy criticizes Cuba´s institutionalized bureaucracy and follows the attempt of a man to dig up the body of his deceased uncle in order to retrieve a document that his widow needs to legalize her pension. Special Jury Prize (Karlovy Vary Film Festival in Czechoslovakia, 1996).

Cuba

The Last Supper (1976) , Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
This film, set in 18th-century Cuba, tells the purportedly true story of a slave owner who one day decides to instruct his slaves on the ecclesiastical codes of Christianity by inviting twelve of them to a re-enactment of the Last Supper. "Titón" explores themes of hypocrisy, liberty, and religion. Awarded with, amongst others, the Golden Hugo (International Film Festival of Chicago, 1976) and the First Grand Prix (Iberian and Latin American Film Festival of Biarritz, 1979).

The Survivors (1978) , Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
A drama about an aristocratic family in Cuba shortly after the 1959 Revolution. Named Notable Film of the Year (London Film Festival, 1979), received the Gold Prize (Damascus Film Festival, 1981), and the Gold Plaque and Ghandi Award (Laceno d´Oro Festival in Avellino, 1981).

House for Swap (1983) , Juan Carlos Tabío
Comedy about a mother and daughter who swap houses in preparation for the daughter´s upcoming wedding, but which does not go according to plans. The film makes a butt of contemporary Cuban society and its stereotypes. Best Actress Award for famous acress Rosita Fornés (Film, Television and Video Festival in Rio de Janeiro, 1984).

The Alhambra Beauty (1989) , Enrique Pineda Barnet
Melodrama based on Miguel Barnet´s novel "Canción de Rachel". Most notable for its soundtrack, this film tells the story of a vaudeville actress who achieved fame. Received Goya Award (Madrid, 1989), Best Actress (Latino Film Festival New York, 1989), Coral Awards for Soundtrack, Set Design and Setting (International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana, 1989).

Cuba

Guantanamera (1995) , Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío
Satire about Cuban life. The voyage from Guantánamo to Havana to give Aunt Yoyita a proper burial, and the members of the funeral procession and the characters they meet, provde the setting and actors in this social commentary on Cuban society. Won, amongst others, the Cinema Writers Circle Award for Best Screenplay (Spain, 1996), a Jury Award for Best Foreign Film (Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, 1996), and was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 1996 Venice Film Festival.

Cuba

Life is a Whistle (1998) , Fernando Pérez
Film about the search for happiness. Set in Havana, late 1990s, this production employs absurd language and ideas of destiny to develop its characters, their dreams ánd frustrations. Deemed Best Spanish Language Foreign Film Goya Awards (Spain, 2000), C.I.C.A.E. Award (Forum of New Cinema at Berlin International Film Festival, 1999), Special Mention, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Actress, (Havana Film Festival), FIPRESCI Award, Glauber Rocha Award, Grand Coral-First Prize, OCIC Special Award, Radio Havana Award (Havana Film Festival, 1999), KNF Award (Rotterdam International Film Festival, 1999), Special Jury Award (Sundance Film Festival, 1999), Flaiano Award for Best Foreign Film (Italy, 2000).

Viva Cuba (2004) , Juan Carlos Cremata
Widely praised road movie akin to Romeo and Juliet. The girl Malu is from an upper-class family, whereas the boy Jorgito has a poor but proud socialist background. Although tied by a strong bond, the children are not allowed to be together by both their mothers. When they learn Malu´s mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel across the island in search for Malu´s father who is the only one capable of preventing her departure. Amongst others awarded with the Grand Prix Ecrans Juniors (Cannes, 2005), Best Film (International Children's Film Festival in L'Aisne, France, 2006), Best Film (Wurzburg International Film Festival in Germany, 2006), Best Film (Internationale Kinder Film Festival, Bremen and Hannover, Germany, 2006).

Cuba

Neighbourhood Cuba (2005) , Humberto Solás
This film follows the story of three families that pursue happiness in the difficult circumstances in some of present-day Havana´s barrios (neighbourhoods). The film explores the theme of people running away from problems, later to return for reconciliation. Audience Award (Huelva Film Festival, 2005), Special Jury Prize and Best Actress (International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, 2005), and Best Actress (Ceará, Film Festival, Fortaleza, Brasil, 2006).

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