Uncharted Filmhaüs: Reviewing ‘Una Noche’


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Una Noche

Released 2012 – Director Lucy Mulloy

Una Noche is more than just the standard story with a beginning, middle and end. Instead, it is a film that reveals several truths in, around and behind its central plot. Films that tell as much of a background story as they do in the dialogue of the central characters are very powerful in message and understanding. And even with its amazing ability to expose every ounce of each story by utilizing every square inch of the camera’s frame, the imitation of art through life and vice versa is fluid, beyond the credits of the film.

The streets of Havana are filled with both residents and tourists, where it is clear that the former are commanded to serve the latter. Raul, played by Dariel Arrechada, has hope that his father, who escaped to Miami years before, is waiting for his son. With this dream, Raul convinces his friend Elio, played by Javier Nuñez Florián, to accompany him on his escape from Cuba to Miami. As Elio’s sister Lila, played by Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre, uncovers their plot to leave, she insists on coming too. Their voyage stretches beyond the hundred miles of water though, as simply pushing off the shore requires much more than the simple desire to leave.

While the story is unique, the telling of such a tale is reminiscent of the 2001 Mexican film, Y Tu Mamá También in that as the characters engage with one another and face the deepened challenges of their own lives, the story of Cuba is revealed through their actions. As the audience, it is apparent that even the smallest of decisions or situations is directly linked to the overall politics and livelihood of the Cuban people.

After watching this film and allowing its impact to sit for a moment, I decided to research the writer/director and actors, all of whom had their own interesting back stories, some exactly like the story being told in the movie. In fact, two of the central members of the cast took advantage of the film’s North American release to disappear and defect from Cuba themselves. I was additionally shocked to find out how novel the entire cast and crew were to film, considering how well done every aspect of the film appeared in the finished product. You know it’s a good movie when you want to continue the story through research after watching it.

So, sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn, and stretch your legs, your mind and your soul.