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Cuba Documentary Reviews: Critics on 'Cubamerican'

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Mar 2016 07:12 PM

The 2013 documentary “Cubamerican” is an award-nominated production directed by Jose Enrique Pardo. The film of nearly two hours in length explores how Cuban families’ lives were changed by the revolution and subsequent communist regime.

It follows some prominent Cubans, seeing how they made a home in the country they fled to years ago. The story is familiar to many emigrants living a life in exile, torn from their families, but ultimately rising through hard work to succeed in their adopted society.

Like many documentaries on Cuba, "Cubamerican" has garnered both praise and criticism.

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In his Miami New Times review, Hans Morgenstern was impressed by the film and saw it as different from others of a similar subject. Morgenstern praised the use of music and interviews by director Prado, himself a Cuban-American. The reviewer was touched by the personal stories and the sense of loss, writing: “Throughout, the conversations are thoughtful and sometimes philosophical, but they are most often moving. As much as these subjects admit to having gained from their drive, there is a sense of honest suffering.”

Writing in the Spartan Daily, Lauren Hailey also gave a positive review to the documentary. From watching the film, she cited the individual stories of the exiles but also the history of Cuba given by the director. Throughout her viewing, she was struck by the stories and upset of the exiles, saying: “This movie was emotional, historical, educational and entertaining.”

Gene Mahoney of the San Francisco Herald was less enthusiastic about the film than some other writers. He questioned the length of the documentary, finding it too long for the subject matter. Mahoney was impressed by the content but said it would have been improved by a tight edit, writing: “Though the film elicited warmth and good feelings, it also elicited me fidgeting in my chair - it was too long. Once again, if 30 minutes (well, actually, 47 minutes) had been edited out, Jose would have had an Emmy-caliber, hour-long television special instead of an Ok movie.”

The music used in the film got high praise from Tom Grieving of Projector & Orchestra. The reviewer was impressed by the score and said it matched perfectly with the storyline of the documentary. Grieving wrote: “It is a deeply emotive listening experience and, at times, so infectious it’s hard to sit still.”

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The 2013 documentary "Cubamerican" is an award-nominated production directed by Jose Enrique Pardo. The film of nearly two hours in length explores how Cuban families' lives were changed by the revolution and subsequent communist regime.
Cuba, documentaries, reviews, Cubamerican
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2016-12-02
Wednesday, 02 Mar 2016 07:12 PM
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