Marrakech International Film Festival: Una Noche

With the Marrakech International Film Festival taking place this week, I’ve been tryiNg to see as many films as possible.  My interests tend to be in the competition films and the Moroccan films, both in and out of the competition.

The film I happened to be most excited about was Una Noche as it touched on a subject that interests me, and set in a country that fascinates me.   It was a tale of the too familiar story of Cubans trying to reach Miami.  I was expecting a documentary about a story of the actual crossing. What happened once they arrived. But what I got was a disappointment.  It was rather flat.  A climax of about three minutes. And side stories that seemed irrelevant, like the British family on vacation in Cuba.

What the film did well

I did enjoy seeing the streetscape of Havana, a city I long to visit. The architecture, old cars and the way of life. The way of life. And the reality of it.  Having met people from Cuba and heard their stories, I appreciated the comment in the movie that “the supermarkets are empty, but you can find anything you need in Cuba if you know the right people”.

Favourite quote I can’t remember the quote exactly, but it went something like this: “When I was a child I made the rules, but now the rules make me.”

Final notes The word propaganda came to mind at the end. Strong messages that seemed to say, stay in Cuba. Try to escape and you may end up like the main character did.  And throw in a shark to hit this message home!

One thought on “Marrakech International Film Festival: Una Noche

  1. I agree – this film was a bit flat. I too enjoyed the city scenes and I liked the fact that this was largely a Cuban story, not a story about how Cubans interact with tourists. (Why was that British family inserted into the script? To get UK funding?!). However, a narrated story doesn’t work well with subtitles when the action doesn’t match the words (which is often why the technique is used….)
    I was intrigued to see the film as it was partially US-funded. I thought, perhaps because of the relaxation of the rules around cultural cooperation. Apparently not – apparently because it suits a political agenda. Very disappointing.
    I saw a couple of excellent films set in Cuba at the Edinburgh Film Festival this year. They are reviewed here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *