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Cuba Documentary Reviews: Critics on 'Havana Curveball'

By    |   Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016 10:05 PM

The 2014 documentary "Havana Curveball" from husband-and-wife team Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider followed a young, American Jewish boy in his attempts to send baseballs to the poor of Cuba.

The boy, Mica Schneider, encouraged by the teachings of his rabbi, wanted to do the good deed after reading of ordinary Cubans' love of the game.

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Mica happened to be the son of the filmmakers, and they foresaw that he would encounter trouble by running afoul of the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba.

Tallahassee Democrat writer Mark Hinson was full of praise
for the documentary film and its background story of the embargo on trade with Cuba. Hinson relayed the young boy’s family history while describing the making of the documentary.

“The simple act of gratitude turns into in an international headache for Jarmel-Schneider in the documentary ‘Havana Curveball’ as the young baseball enthusiast’s efforts are stymied by bureaucratic red tape, the U.S. mail, and a 55-year-old trade-travel embargo,” wrote Hinson.

At The Audience Awards, critic Laura Paull lauded some of the scenes in the film and the standoff approach of the boy’s parents. Paull saw the difficulties for the parents in working as filmmakers, while also being the guardians of their 13-year-old son.

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“Their sensitivity as good documentarians who don’t want to interfere with a film’s revelation of truths, overlapped with their wisdom as parents who know that you shouldn’t do everything for your children,” wrote Paull

Culture Vulture also praised "Havana Curveball." Reviewing the documentary, columnist Emily S. Mendel told of the story behind the film and recommended it for families to see as an introduction to the problems of modern-day Cuba.

“For a charming, family-oriented film, you can’t miss with ‘Havana Curveball,’” said Mendel.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum librarian Robin Levin reviewed the documentary for the School Library Journal and recommended the film as a great story of triumph and determination.

Levin loved the storyline and the camera work of the two producers.

“Directed by Mica’s filmmaker parents, Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, this film superbly demonstrates what one 13-year-old can do to overcome daunting obstacles and make the world a better place,” wrote Levin.

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The 2014 documentary "Havana Curveball" followed a young, American Jewish boy in his attempts to send baseballs to the poor of Cuba. The boy, encouraged by the teachings of his rabbi, wanted to do the good deed after reading of ordinary Cubans' love of baseball.
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2016-05-23
Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016 10:05 PM
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