Suite Habana | Chicago Reader

Suite Habana

Fernando Perez's masterful 2003 documentary is all the more lyrical for his decision to bypass narration and (for the most part) dialogue. Through a gradual accretion of contemplative shots, Perez interweaves studies of a diverse selection of Havanans, including a railroad worker, a peanut vendor, a ballet dancer, and an architect. The pervasive wistfulness is heightened by the fact that several subjects have dual identities: a doctor moonlights as a clown, a nurse performs as a drag queen, and the architect now works in construction to be closer to his disabled son. Havana's weathered facades and seafront bear mute witness to the ebb and flow of its people's lives and the persistence of their dreams. 90 min.

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