If you’re one of those (men) who is ashamed to be seen shedding a tear or two at a movie, Viva Cuba is definitely not for you. I defy anyone to watch this delightful film and not experience an emotional rollercoaster as the two young stars battle fiercely to save their close friendship.
And yet Viva Cuba is certainly no sentimental tearjerker. It tells the story of Jorgito and Malu, a pair of 12 year old who have formed a seemingly unbreakable bond of friendship. Their closeness is all the more remarkable given the animosity that exists between their mothers: Jorgito’s mother is a passionate communist while Malu’s mother is a devout Christian.
Indeed it is Malu’s mother who is keen to get away from Cuba and wants to take her daughter with her. They live in Havana but require Malu’s father, who lives at the other end of the country, to sign her exit papers.
What follows is a daring road trip undertaken by the two children as they make a desperate journey across Cuba to try and prevent Malu’s father from signing the documents and splitting them apart forever.
Spun around this simple tale the adventures of the two protagonists are then played out against the backdrop of the Cuban countryside. We get to see images of Cuba beyond the classic Havana shots that are now familiar to most of us; the landscapes are memorable. Along the way Jorgito and Malu meet an assortment of very colourful characters.
Cuban Road Trip
Viva Cuba is a great movie to watch before a holiday to Cuba. It provides a clever insight into some of the cultural conflicts in the country and the ways in which people are managing to survive. It will probably encourage visitors to get out of their resorts and explore the countryside by car on their own Cuba tour.
But for all these insights the most powerful message of the movie is not a political one. In Jorgita and Malu we see the embodiment of a perfect friendship that is driven to the point of destruction by the selfishness of their parents. We see the world through the eyes of both adults and children and are left in no doubt which have show the greater levels of wisdom.
As for the ending, well I won’t spoil it for you. It is an excellent movie and one that I would recommend to anyone. It’s enough to say that you’ll need those tissues close to hand!
Photo: Henryk Kotowski via Wikimedia Commons
Next time you visit Cuba and stay at one of the Iberostar hotels, we encourage you to get out and explore the countryside.