La Partida

DIRECTOR: Antonio Hens

Expected to attend: director Antonio Hens.

For Reinier and Yosvani, young Cubans trying to survive in Havana, “la partida” is soccer, but the phrase also refers to more serious “games” these two characters must play in order to survive. On the field, Reinier works hard to impress Spanish scouts looking for Cuban talent. He has a wife and child, but economic exigencies (and a penchant for gambling and new clothes) draw him most nights to the Malec√≥n, Havana’s fabled seawall where male tourists prowl for handsome flesh. Yosvani is his best friend, shyer than his pal and dependent on his girlfriend’s father Silvano for the roof over his head.

Romantic feelings between the two arise one night after they both take ecstasy in a nightclub, but sexual confusion and jealousy create complications. Even as Reinier cozies up to a handsome foreigner named Juan, he maintains his heterosexuality while Yosvani frets about marrying Silvano’s daughter Gema. From these external pressures of family, girlfriends, and poverty to their own internal struggles, the game of life proves much harder to master than soccer as the pair’s relationship suffers dramatic ups and downs. As the two leads, Reinier Diaz and Milton García are charismatic and super sexy. Spanish director and co-writer Antonio Hens (who directed 2007’s powerful Clandestinos) evinces a strong grasp of the lives of young Cubans who are so desperate for a way out of their circumstances that they have precious little time to think about love.

— ROD ARMSTRONG

In Spanish with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F123

Co-presented by:
Galeria de la Raza

Co-presented by:
Cine+Mas - San Francisco Latino Film Festival

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