: : : Bitter Sugar
===Story=== In what may be the angriest portrait of Cuba ever made, director Leon Ichaso (''Crossover Dreams'') charts the journey of one young man from patriot to disillusioned dropout to angry rebel. Gustavo (René Lavan) is an idealistic young Marxist scholar who dreams of attending the University of Prague. When he falls for an earthy dancer with a more pragmatic view of her homeland, who plans to escape to Florida, his ideals are systematically chipped away in the face of poverty, repression, corruption, and police brutality until it all becomes too much for him to bear. A far cry from the more romantic work of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (''Strawberry and Chocolate''), this film speaks volumes about a generation of exiles burning with anger and hate for Castro and his regime. It's also manipulative and heavy-handed, with Gustavo less a hero than a straw figure poised for a fall, and it's far less revealing than such self-critical Cuban features as ''Portrait of Teresa'' and ''Memories of Underdevelopment''. But its vivid and passionate feelings of betrayal can hardly be dismissed. Ichaso shot portions of the film in Cuba and smuggled the footage out, but Santo Domingo doubles for Havana through the bulk of the feature. ''--Sean Axmaker''


René Lavan
Mayte Vilán

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Leon Ichaso
  • Producer: New Yorker
  • Length: 75 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 1996
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaFeb 27, 2001
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