Miami Film Festival: Sin La Habana (Review)

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SIN LA HABANA: Directed By Kaveh Nabatian


Leonardo, a ballet dancer, and Sara, an ambitious lawyer, are young black Cubans desperate for a way out of their country. They realize that their ticket off the island is for Leonardo to seduce one of the foreign students at the salsa school where he teaches. They choose a lonely Iranian-Canadian woman who is seeking adventure and passion in paradise. (Miami Film Festival)


Sin La Habana is enriched with a lot of culture and passion that oozes hope throughout its runtime. We see Leonardo's character constantly in a position where he has to make a drastic choice. It's a tough watch because you really want to see everyone in this movie to succeed and you know someone, if not all of them, will get hurt in the process. Leonardo is someone I can relate to in the way that he constantly wants to prove himself and doesn't want to be sidelined. He's someone that wants to get stuff done. With that mentality he is constantly in a spot where he is conflicted in making the right choices. Sadly this sets off a chain of events that lead to a very hard to watch third act. The third act being a very intense segment of the film it concludes beautifully. The ending though although being beautiful it is also gut wrenching and symbolic.

Sin La Habana is crafted very carefully and each and every shot seems to have purpose to it. I have to give a huge shoutout to the cinematography and the way they used there camera in this. There are amazing moments where the framing of the shots allowed more emotion to come through the screen. The acting is as good as it can get as well. This is an excellent story to showcase people's dream and what they have to do in order to achieve them. A powerful movie that shows everyone technically getting what they wanted, but at what cost. I do have to say that each and every character in Sin La Habana are pretty fleshed out. This plays a very important role to show the viewer what they are going through. When they have to make the tough decisions we know why they end up doing it. There is a lot of realism to it and there isn't a moment of disbelief. You as the viewer know why they are doing it. Mostly everything is done with the intention of doing it for love. Which I think is a very powerful on going theme throughout the movie.

My overall thoughts on Sin La Habana is that this movie is deep and has many layers to it. It holds a lot of insight on a world that we may not all be familiar with. It holds a lot of cultural value through people's perspectives, dreams, music, dance and so much more. It is rich with character development and you get a real understanding who these people are. There are great performances and great filmmaking tactics that are presented on screen. We all have our passions, dreams and hopes. This movie is the inside look on that with this story and what it took for them to achieve it. The director has been involved in a lot of projects in the last decade that took place around the world. It shows that perspective and insight in this work because we learn a lot from so many different cultures in this movie. I highly recommend people to check this movie out if you're able to. There is so much we can learn from this movie. Make sure to click on the Miami Film Festival category to see more reviews!