Country: Cuba / USA / UK
Movie Review: Narrated through the sad voice of Lila, “Una Noche” shows a fatalist path of despair from the beginning, without being perfectly balanced in terms of visuals and narrative. Presented by Spike Lee and written/directed by debutant Lucy Mulloy, the story tells the true events that involved three Cuban teenagers who, despaired with their family situations and struggling to deal with the different pressures in a controlled and impoverished Havana, decide to reach Miami in a small, inflated boat. Lila is strongly attached to her brother Elio who, in turn, became fascinated with Raul, a voluptuous boy obsessed with leaving Cuba for good and meet with his missing father in Miami. The two boys slowly plan their escape while Lila was supposed to stay out of it. After discovering their intentions, she joins them without any hesitation, even without knowing how to swim. Mulloy shot it beautifully, capturing all the different energies, mostly from the streets but also from work places or dwelling interiors. These very living energies (despite the inherent sadness) differed substantially from the melancholy and heaviness of Lila’s descriptions/considerations. I felt that all the vibrancy came up from the images itself, not from the escaping plan or the protagonists’ interaction. During the boat trip, the absence of preoccupation evinced by the trio was somewhat contagious, and not even the agitated arguments, confusion, or shark threats, were able to raise my expectations. Its final conclusion produced some effect, though.