Strawberry and Chocolate

Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
ST & CH 5.jpg

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
Anyone who’s seen ‘Before Night Falls’ knows how the Cuban communists treat their gay population. So the fact that Tomás Guttiérez Alea’s 1993 Oscar-nominated plea for tolerance exists at all should be celebrated. But the film already feels dated, a cautious, sexless tip-toe around the issues.

Part of the problem is the preening, predatory central performance by straight actor Jorge Perugorría as Diego, the cultured gay writer who forms a controversial friendship with Vladimir Cruz’s conformist student. And although the script takes pains to humanise Diego – with some success – he feels like a comforting archetype rather than a complex character.

Unsurprisingly for a film by Alea, its social agenda is more vigorous and engaging: his sly, sophisticated attacks on Havana’s revolutionary orthodoxy have lost none of their sting. And so, while the central story may lack edge, ‘Strawberry and Chocolate’ remains an entertaining, thoughtful take on the absurdity of confusing sexuality and politics.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
18
Release date:
Friday July 3 2009
Duration:
111 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Juan Carlos Tabío
Screenwriter:
Senel Paz
Cast:
Jorge Perugorría
Vladimir Cruz
Mirta Ibarra
Francisco Gattorno