A single night can feel very long sometimes, especially if you’re on a tiny raft, can’t swim and are surrounded by sharks. There are just ninety miles of water between Cuba and Florida. Desperate to leave, plenty of Cubans choose make this risky trip across the sea. So too Lila’s twin brother Elio. Lila always thought he could ever leave her – after all, they’ve been together ever since they were born. But of late he’s been distracted and has had less and less time for her; nowadays his world seems to revolve around his new friend. In a ruined building at the beach she discovers a couple of wooden boards and two car tyres, the components for a makeshift raft with which her brother and his friend – now wanted by the police – are intending to make their escape. Lila decides she too is ready to take a risk and joins them. This film doesn’t only portray the sunny side of Havana with its vibrant streets, it also examines the severity of life in a socialist country where the police protect tourists and beat up their own people. For many Cubans life is a constant struggle for daily necessities. If you have dollars, you can get anything – provided you know where to go. And if not, there’s always the promise of a new life across the sea.
by Lucy Mulloy
with Dariel Arrechada, Anailin de la Rua de la Torre, Javier Nuñez Florian
USA / Cuba / United Kingdom 2012