Viva Cuba is about two best friends who are in danger of being separated forever run away from home. The friendship between two children is threatened by their parents' differences. Malu is from an upper-class family and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito, as she thinks his background coarse and commonplace. Jorgito's mother, a poor socialist proud of her family's social standing, places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malu and Jorgito. When the children learn that Malu's mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel to the other side of the island to find Malu's father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it.
Viva Cuba was shown at the Toronto Film Festival - Sept 8 to 18, 2005
Programme: CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA
Director: Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti
Time: 80 minutes
Film Types: Colour/35mm
Limited release in 2005
On DVD: Sep 4, 2007
Runtime: 79 minutes
Production Company: Quad Productions/DDC Films LLC/TVC Casa Productora/ICRT/La Colmenita/El Ingenio
Executive Producer: Eric Brach
Producer: Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky
Screenplay: Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti, Manolito Rodríguez Ramírez
Cinematography: Alejandro Pérez Gómez
Editor: Angélica Salvador Alonso, Sylvie Landra
Production Designer: Guillermo Ramírez Malberti
Sound: Franklin Hernández Polanco, Diego Javier Figueroa Torres, Osmany Olivare Arias, Olivier Laurent, François Joseph Hors
Music: Amaury Ramírez Malberti, Slim Pezin
About The Film
Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti’s Nothing More was an irreverent, playful film about the burden of Cuban bureaucracy, employing light-hearted animation to treat heavy topics like migration and segregation. For his follow-up feature, Viva Cuba, Cremata Malberti again tackles localized Cuban problems, this time from the literal point of view of the country’s children. He lowers the camera to the eye level of the film’s protagonists, the darling Malú (Malú Tarrau Broche) and Jorgito (Jorgito Miló Ávila).
In a tale akin to “Romeo and Juliet,” the friendship between two children is threatened by their parents’ differences. Malú is from an upper-class family and her single mother (Larisa Vega Alamar) does not want her to play with Jorgito, as she thinks his background coarse and commonplace. Jorgito’s mother (Luisa María Jiménez Rodríguez), a poor socialist proud of her family’s social standing, places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malú and Jorgito. When the children learn that Malú’s mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel to the other side of the island to find Malú’s father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it.
Viva Cuba explores emigration and the effects it can have on children who have to leave friends and extended families behind. Often youngsters are uprooted without being consulted and then must contend with their new surroundings. In a poignant moment, Malú and Jorgito discuss when they might reunite. The viewer knows they are unlikely to ever see each other again, unless Malú’s mother finds a legal way to leave the country and can therefore be granted re-entry. The best they can hope for is to forget one another as their lives change and they face new pleasures and challenges.
Viva Cuba is a wonderful, fresh film for all ages. It touches upon many of Cuba’s contentious issues in a frank and honest manner. This is a nation in flux and, while his approach is skilled and affectionate, Cremata Malberti does not shy away from asking difficult questions.
- Diana Sanchez