Filmmaker Camila Guzmán Urzúa (center) in the “Golden Age” of post-revolutionary Cuba with her classmates, called Pioneers.
Tribeca Film Festival, NYC, April 25-May 6, 2007
The Sugar Curtain (El Telón de Azúcar)
Directed by Camila Guzmán Urzúa
From France, Cuba, and Spain
By Mary Lyn Maiscott
It was good, and then it wasn’t: This heartfelt documentary tries to find significance in the gap between filmmaker Camila Guzmán Urzúa’s Edenic childhood in Cuba in the 1970s and the way things are now. Since she nearly glides past the reasons why (mainly the collapse of the U.S.S.R.), this never quite happens. Still, we see the despair in the beautiful big eyes of her former classmates who continue to live on the isolated island—most have fled to such places as Spain, Canada, or, as with Guzmán Urzúa herself, France—admire the candor with which they speak of “Fifo” (Fidel) and their many problems, and remain fascinated by the sea-washed country that, at least for baby boomers, so affected our own childhood. A special gracias to the native rock band Habana Abierta (now living in Spain) who added a midway jolt of energy to a perhaps too-leisurely film, including the heartening sound of hundreds of Cuban youths deliriously shouting an obscenity-laced chant to the group.
The Sugar Curtain
Fri., April 27, 7:30 PM, AMC 34th Street-14, 312 W. 34th Street (bet 8/9 Avenues)
Sat., April 28, 1:45 PM, AMC 34th Street-10
Sun., April 29, 10:15 AM, AMC Village VII-03, 66 Third Avenue (at 11th Street)
Mon., April 30, 6:00 PM, AMC Kips Bay-15, 570 Second Avenue (at 32nd Street)
Tues., May 1, 9:30 PM, AMC Kips Bay-15
Fri., May 4, 5:00 PM, AMC Kips Bay-13