7 Days in Havana – 7 inspirations

It took me some time to watch this movie. When I saw the DVD for the first time, I actually got discouraged by the seven names of the directors who created this movie. What a mistake! In fact, this is what makes this movie so special!

The movie is divided into seven parts, each for one day of the week. It starts with a simple and easy story of a young actor travelling to Havana in order to check one of the film schools. Simple as it is, it manages to tell us, how poor the Cubans are. Starting with „Monday”, step by step we discover the inequality between the Cubans and the visitors.

Both the first and second segment focus in some way on the film industry. Josh hutcherson, who played Peta in The Hunger Games, plays an actor while in the second short, on Tuesday, we follow Emir Kusturica (yes, the famous Serbian director kind of plays himself) and his visit at the film festival. The second segment is also somehow a satire on the film industry and the idea of giving awards by artists for artists. Irrelevant for the rest of the world and also for some of the artists itself. Why? I don’t want to spoil it. In fact, the second short is one of the best from all of them.

Cuba might change soon, due to the political changes which took place in 2014. The foreigners are still in love with the old Havana and it’s stereotypes: Rum, old cars, cigars and sexy dance in the club. Some of these aspects are also shown in the movie, for example by showing a couple making a photo session on the street and focusing mainly on the famous Cubanian style cars. We almost don’t know the other Cuba, the one before it was dominated by the USA.

Another part of a daily life in Cuba is, unfortunately, poverty. One can see it almost in every part of the movie. The most emotional is probably the scene which shows some people trying to emigrate illegaly, through the ocean. Or a woman, who needs to chosse between staying in Cuba with her boyfriend and going to Spain to follow her dream (of course, not for free). The country on one hand has luxury hotels for the foreigners and on the other hand, its people suffer from not having enough rescources in their life, basic recources. Probably because of that, the last of the shorts focues on religion and belief, that with a help of God people will be able to survive the cosntraints of their lives.

Out of the seven directors, only one of them, Juan Carlos Tabío, is Cuban. Thus, it’d be too much to call it a Cuban movie. It’s rather a well-done homage not even to Cuba itself but especially to Havana.

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