Release Date: April 28th, 2006 (Cinema Village) by Cinema Tropical.
Directed by Fernando Pérez.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary with sounds and images from daily life in Habana, Cuba.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: From start to finish Suite Habana is richly filled with simple scenes from everyday life such as a man riding his bicycle, a woman chopping onions, and a mother calling for her child. Director Fernando Pérez fills each scene with appreciation for life in all of its intricate and subtle beauty. He understands the entrancing power of images without dialogue while letting the images speak for themselves. The ten people filmed, ranging from age 10 to 97, gets introduced with a title cards including their first name and age. Could anyone have filmed these scenes with a camera? For that matter, why not just go out and observe daily life on your own? However, the truth is that it’s not that easy to perceive the hustle-and-bustle of life in such a poetic way with such amazing cinematography that captures so much gentle beauty. Pérez combines the sounds and images with the musical score like magic, transcending a simply voyeuristic depiction of life in Habana to a highly engrossing and absorbing work of art that cannot be duplicated. All you have to is sit back and immerse yourself in the poetic sights and sounds.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The most poignant scenes are at end when title cards state the dreams and current status of nine of the individuals. These brief scenes reflect how much Pérez treats these people humanely, not just using them as images for his film. One individual spends his time beside a family member and takes care of them. Another continues to work as a clown, but dreams of becoming an actor. The 97-year-old woman has the most interesting title card that suggests that she is content with her life: she has no dreams.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A must-see! Lively and engrossing! An awe-inspiring ode to life in Havana!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater!
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