Sin La Habana: Review

Sin La Habana: Review

Sin La Habana: Review. By Sarah Buddery.

Directed by Kaveh Nabatian, Sin La Habana (Without Havana) tells the story of Leonardo, an ambitious classical dancer. Along with his girlfriend Sara, the pair find themselves frustrated by Cuba’s closed borders, and their desire for a better future for themselves leaves Leo to pursue Nasim, a tourist whose taste for the exotic may just provide Leo with his ticket to freedom. 

It is evident that Nabatian has a background in music, as particularly the early Cuba-set scenes of this film have the stylistic qualities of music videos, and that is absolutely intended as a compliment. He is a director that clearly knows and understands light, movement and choreography, and there is a visual flair to Sin La Habana that makes it almost hard to believe the fact that this is his feature film directorial debut.



It is a construct of the narrative itself, but where perhaps this film suffers is the fact that the characters of Leo and Sara are distinctly unlikeable. Whilst we understand their frustration and their desire to leave in search of a better life, it doesn’t necessarily excuse their selfish actions, which come at the expense of Nasim, the innocent party caught in the middle of the love triangle.

It’s not completely absent, but something that could have given the characters more depth, would have been to explore the prejudices and mistreatment they received both at home and abroad. As Black Cubans, Leo and Sara are frequently sidelined and treated differently because of their heritage, and aside from a few run-ins with the classical dance elite, this theme isn’t explored as thoroughly as it could’ve been. Their story is not one that is often told on screen so it is slightly frustrating that when given the opportunity, these themes are a little thin. 

One of the best things about the film is how it is able to capture it’s two very distinct settings. Beginning in Cuba, there is a palpable sense of heat, and a warm vibrant energy, however when the setting switches to Canada, you can almost feel the chill, and the warmth is replaced with a darker colour palette. It is interesting that this shift occurs where it does, as the whole notion of the film is that leaving Cuba is supposed to offer hope and opportunity, and yet the reality is very different.

A strong first feature from a director who clearly has a lot of promise, Sin La Habana is a visually arresting film which uses interesting angels and filming techniques to it’s great advantage, and what it may lack in thematic exploration, it more than makes up for in style. 


We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.


Trending on BRWC:

Michael Mendelsohn: Interview 

Michael Mendelsohn: Interview 

By BRWC / 6th May 2024 / 1 Comment
Velma Season 2: Review

Velma Season 2: Review

By BRWC / 9th May 2024 / 1 Comment
Unfrosted: The BRWC Review

Unfrosted: The BRWC Review

By BRWC / 14th May 2024
Infested – Review  

Infested – Review  

By BRWC / 5th May 2024 / 1 Comment
Classic Film Review: Ulysses (1967)

Classic Film Review: Ulysses (1967)

By BRWC / 29th April 2024

Cool Posts From Around the Web:



BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese, which is a blog about films.

NO COMMENTS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.