Gustavo talks with his father who has gotten a new job as a piano man. Instead he starts talking about his problems. He goes to see the teacher that helped him get the scholarship. The pair also make home movies of themselves, and ''Bitter Sugar,'' which was made in the Dominican Republic, is an odd stylistic melange of Hollywood-style romance, homemade cinema verite and vintage film clips of the Cuban revolution. When Gustavo and Yolanda go to the beach bar to get a cold drink, they are turned away.
Whereas Gustavo accepts food rationing, a crumbling infrastructure, and restrictions on free speech as temporary obstacles to a better Cuba, everyone around him can't. At a public rally given by Castro, he meets his final destiny. Yolanda and her parents board a rickety boat headed for Miami. At an underground rock concert where his rebellious brother Bobby Larry Villaneuva leads a heavy-metal band, Gustavo first lays eyes on his true love, Yolanda Mayte Vilan , moments before the event is dispersed by the police. This movie did a nice job of portraying Socialism in Cuba throughout the movie. That's why the discos in the city's tourist hotels swarm with ''nice'' Cuban women working as bar girls.
Thomas, is a psychiatrist whose job in the local currency equals about a few dollars a month! Nevertheless, this movie does a decent job of saying, that Freedom is worth dying for and Tyranny often isn't worth living under. The movie had many great examples of how the government treats its' people and that they see other opportunties outside of their own country. This is a Miami-Cuban's caricature of modern Cuba, scribbled in 5 minutes. This film is neither pro- nor anti- Castro. In order to get the badly needed hard currency, Cuba opened its doors to a massive invasion of international tourism, mainly from Europe and South America. This film shows how there is no perfect way out, no utopia, no perfect system. It also has a love story.
What a great sound track. But on another occasion, he sees her with Claudio again. I highly recommend this movie for both its drama and its information on Cuba. The black and white was great and the music even better. It is remarkable how life has deteriorated in Cuba since I left in 1980 at the tender age of fifteen.
And what does it say about America that impoverished Cuba has higher literacy rates and comparable life expectancy? Although Bobby's desperate act is based on true events, the dreamy lyricism of the rest of the film mutes its impact. But then the poor lad went from one extreme to the other: from complete obedience to trying to kill the dictator Castro. Gustavo is the only one in the family who is a gung-ho supporter of Castro and the communist revolution. Azucar Amarga Bitter Sugar shows the true face of Castro's dictatorship. Yolanda is fed up with Cuba and wants to go to Miami. This movie shows through a love story that the Cuban government is killing its' own people.
This was the same year Lavan left the island on the Mariel boat lift. Her mothers throws Gustavo out of her home and tells Yolanda not to see him again. His father throws him a graduation party. I enjoyed this movie very much. Yolanda and Gustavo disagree over Gustavo's communist views; they agree not to talk about politics. It was quite surprising, ´cause they all were firmly disparaging about Castro´s regime, but they explained me that the film only tried to impact the theatre, without showing the real problems people have in Cuba. Prostitution as portrayed in the movie is highly accurate.
How could they possibly understand that living there is like living in an insane asylum? But Gustavo had already realized that the Cuban government never really had a scholarship to go to the University of Prague for him. Rene Lavan, Mayte Villain, Miguel Gutierrez and the rest of the cast respond well to the direction Mr. Gustavo tries to eak out a living in Havana while waiting to go abroad with a scholarship, his dad gets a job at a swanky tourist resort because his psychiatrist job doesn't pay enough and his brother seems to do nothing but protest all day long. But he would provide one way out of Cuba for her. It was filmed in Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic with footage from Havana. I can assert that when a scholarship is given in Cuba to study in the country or outside the country this is accomplished nearly immediately. Gustavo and Tomás are horrified.
Ichaso and Orestes Matacena; director of photography, Claudio Chea; edited by Yvette Pineyro; music by Manuel Tejada; production designer, Liliana Soto; produced by Mr. The 180-degree political turn taken by its main character is so abrupt and so extreme that the film could be read as raw anti-Castro propaganda. Gustavo takes it, and runs towards where Castro is standing, aiming the gun at him. There is a strong sense of political outrage, of broken lives and dreams. The performance of every single actor in my opinion is superior. Bitter Sugar is not the anti-Castro screed it might have been; it's something better, just a cut below the high standards of Strawberry and Chocolate and Memories of Underdevelopment as sophisticated explorations of the dilemma of Cubans who see the hollowness of the revolution's promises.
I'm only sorry for having spent my time watching this instead of doing something else. The result is a film that is an eye opener about what the reality is in that unfortunate land. I think it is a good resource to learn about Cuba. Gustavo is starting to become very disillusioned. Text on screen informs the viewer that Yolanda and her family were intercepted by the , but were allowed to settle in America in August 1995.