Neither fish nor fowl, Tomas Gutierrez Alea's touching yet compromised depiction of the persecution of gays in 1979 Havana was directed in collaboration with Juan Carlos Tabio when Alea became ill. It opts for an extremely broad depiction of gay mannerisms and tastes in its treatment of a campy but committed dilettante whom the hero, a university student and ardent communist, comes into contact with. Controversial in Cuba yet only mildly polemical by American standards, this 1993 movie is entertaining and evocative both as storytelling and as a description of intellectual life in Havana, but it also borders on the obvious in certain particulars. Written by Senel Paz; with Jorge Perrugoria, Vladimir Cruz, Mirta Ibarra, and Francisco Calorno. 110 min.
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