Director: Hubert Sauper
Austria, France
108 minutes
Unclassified 15+

Jury Prize, World Documentary competition, Sundance

As a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898, Cuba is the epicentre of two things: it was the start of American internationalism imperialism, and it was the first war in which cinema played a significant role. This essay film by Austrian Hubert Sauper ponders questions about the lingering effects of these two phenomena in contemporary Cuba. How to be a visitor to Cuba without being a tourist who reduces the island to consumable images? How to be a filmmaker without falling in with the long tradition of propaganda filmmaking? What he’s not going to do is resort to the opinions of experts, instead foregrounding the views of children (“little prophets” as he calls them) and people he encounters in the streets. The result is a complex portrait of Cuba as it emerges from Fidelism to an uncertain future.

“a remarkable fluidity and gracefulness that’s consistently engaging and surprising.” (Hollywood Reporter)

“moments of bell-like clarity along the way that build into a touching lament for a people constantly at the mercy of other nations’ grand designs.” (Screen International)

Film Type Documentary
Program Strand Documentary Competition
Premiere Australian
Language English, Spanish
Subtitles English
Director Hubert Sauper
Producer Martin Marquet, Daniel Marquet, Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Paolo Calamita
Screenwriters Hubert Sauper
Cinematographer Hubert Sauper
Editor Yves Deschamps, Hubert Sauper
Music Zsuzsanna Varkonyi, Maximilian Turnbull
Genre History, Latino, Social Issue