Una Noche (2013)

Una Noche (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Lucy Mulloy
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.

Juan Of The Dead (2011)

Directed by: Alejandro Brugués
Country: Cuba

Plot: 50 years after the Cuban Revolution, a new Revolution is about to begin.
Quick comment: A business opportunity arrives for Juan and his crew, after a strange epidemic starts to invade Cuba. It was funny how the movie played with Cuban politics and zombies. The gags and dialogs worked fine. As for the rest, it doesn’t succeed so much. The imagery is similar to other horror movies, trying to impress through its violence and savagery. Clumsy and gradually tiresome, this is a movie of jokes, pretending to be more than that.
Relevant awards: Audience award (Miami); Silver Raven for its sense of humor and lead actor performance (Brussels).