Nov 7, 2008

El Super (1979)

In this very good comedy-drama, the spirit of Cuba lives on while in the dead of winter in New York City. This tale by Manuel Arce and Leon Ichaso (who also co-directed with Orlando Jiminez Leal) is largely set in the basement apartment of a building superintendent whose family and circle of friends are exiles from Cuba. The homeland lives on through their talks of politics and religion, and Cuban machismo is evident even in the smallish superintendent.

El Super is often very funny (as in the scene with the building inspector who pays a visit) and sometimes sad (Elizabeth Pena, in her first role, plays their rebellious daughter who becomes pregnant), but always thought-provoking. It is a film full of dreamers yearning for a better place outside these four walls.

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