Havana in the 1950's - a synonym for extravaganza and glamour. All started on the Malecón, the boulevard in Havana where a series of hotels annex casino's was opened by notorious American mafiosi like Meyer Lansky, Santo Traficante and Lucky Luciano.This documentary is about Cuba and about people who all bear some relation to the Riviera Hotel. Some are related to its glorious past: men and women who have worked in the hotel from the opening in 1958 to the present day. Some pensioners are lucky to supplement their modest income by working in the bicycle park. Further, we get to know the Cubans that sit in front of the hotel, and the people who hang out on the Malecón trying to make a buck, and for whom the hotels are a symbol of the much-coveted dollars.The microcosm of the hotel and Malecón reveals the ambiguity that typifies Cuba today: people whose interest it is to maintain the status quo, those who oppose it, people who supported the revolution out of self-interest and those who did it out of pure idealism. Speculating on the uncertain future of the island, these contradictions are slowly unravelled. Getting into the lives of these people, Bernie IJdis shows us the reality that lies behind the Cuban lifestyle, that is at first sight joyful and sensual.

Filmmaker
Bernie IJdis
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
1998
Medium
16mm
Length
90’
Language
Spanish
Producer
Pieter van Huystee Film & TV
Sales
Pieter van Huystee Film & TV
Writer
Bernie IJdis
Sound Design
Ranko Paukovíc, Pieter Guyt