Some films at AFI Latin American Film Festival

7 Days in Havana

Did you enjoy “Paris, I Love You?”  Then you may enjoy this film as well.  It’s a compilation of 7 different short films (directed by some famous directors from all over the world).  The setting is modern-day (communist) Cuba, where people are struggling in their personal and professional lives (just like anywhere else). 

In the first film, a young American film student (who knows only a little Spanish) goes out to a club with his cabbie looking for a beautiful girl.  He finds a rather unusual individual who defies stereotype, as does the American in his reaction. 

In another tale, a jaded/drunken Serbian director comes to Cuba to get an award.  But the highlight of his trip is meeting a  cabbie with a great talent for music.

A beautiful/ambitious singer is torn between two men- her loving/long-time boyfriend (a struggling basesball player) and a smooth-talking stranger who offers her a contract to work in Spain.  (To heighten the contrast- one man is a dark-skinned Afro-Cuban and the other is fair/redheaded.)

Calvet

This is a documentary of Jean Marc Calvet, a French artist living in Nicaragua, who is still struggling with demons (though he’s settled with a family and earns good money).  In his own words, he recounts his boyhood, addictions, various jobs (legal/illegal), and especially- his intense regret in not being there for this 18 y.o. son.  (He speaks in both French and Spanish.)  Will he be able to find his son?  If so, how will his son react to his long-absent father?       

Clandestine Childhood

Juan is an observant/sensitive 11 y.o. boy who comes from Cuba to Argentina (in 1979) with his family and a group of their comrades.  He attends school (under the name Ernesto), makes some friends, and gets a big crush on a pretty classmate.

But he’s not quite like the others- his parents and uncle are guerrillas, and the family is hiding out in an uncle’s house.  Juan also has a baby sister, Vicky.

His grandmother comes for a brief visit, and says she can care for the kids.  But Juan’s mother angrily insists that her children belong with her.

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