Oct 4, 2005
After the surprise success of STRAWBERRY AND CHOCOLATE, the legendary Cuban director Tomas Guitierez Alea (with his co-director Juan Carlos Tabio) managed to do one last film before he passed away, and it is a beauty. This woefully underappreciated delight is a road movie of Cuba, as a woman tags along with her ineffectual husband who follows the Cuban bureaucratic rules (or lack thereof) to the letter, as they transport a deceased relative across the country. Along the way she constantly runs into a trucker, one of her former pupils. This road trip presents a world that is largely unseen to Americans thanks to the embargo: along the Cuban highways, there are always shortages, but a surplus of robust people- it is a bittersweet paradox. The film aloso has a stunning scene set in a rainstorm. For me, it was one of the surprises of the 1990's, and it still holds up beautifully after repeat viewings.