Habana Muda

Amor speaks louder than words in Eric Brach’s compelling documentary that follows the complicated romantic entanglements and émigré dreams of Chino, a charismatic deaf and hard of hearing bisexual who supports his female partner and kids in rural Cuba while falling for a Mexican lover in Havana.

Unfazed by his communicative challenges, Chino works odd jobs to support his family, and is a devoted partner to Anaylis and father to their two adorable children, yet desires both sexual and financial draw him to his country’s bustling capital, where generous Jose offers dinero and the possibility of a better life. Chino’s plan to move to Mexico with Jose receives mixed reactions: friends in his deaf and hard of hearing community warn of dangers overseas, citing Cuba’s lack of crime and surprising acceptance of alternative lifestyles, while Anaylis, wary of losing her partner, concludes, “He’s a free man. What can I do?” Jose arranges for Chino to marry a friend and obtain a work visa, and a journey seems imminent. But does Chino truly love Jose? And is Jose as loyal as he initially seems?

Brach spent three years with his subjects, and under his careful watch they reveal uncertain emotions that rise and fall just as their expressive hands gesture in sign language. With its gorgeous views of Cuba, artfully layered soundscape and compassionate portrayal of its central trio—Habana Muda gives voice to what Van Morrison memorably termed the inarticulate speech of the heart.

— STEVEN JENKINS

In Spanish and English with English subtitles.

PRECEDED BY:

Simply Rob dir Tom Shrapnel 2011 UK 15 min
Simply Rob is a portrait of New York based poet and activist Rob Vassilarakis. Rob was diagnosed in 1993 as HIV-positive. Using a mixture of HD and Super8 footage, this film follows Rob as he tells his turbulent life story through his poetry.


Co-presented by:
Galeria de la Raza
Cine+Mas: San Francisco Latino Film Festival

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!