La vida es silbar

  • 90'
  • Cuba
  • 1998
Bebe (18) is happy and can't understand who other people are not. In La vida es silbar she tells us the stories of three women in Havana at the end of this century, who don't manage to find happiness. At the end of the film, Bebe reveals the secret of eternal happiness. Pérez' last mid-length film, Madagascar, was screened in 1996 in Rotterdam. This was more melancholy than La vida es silbar, even though this film is not just funny, but also sad; not a sitcom but a 'sadcom' with surreal elements.The film-maker chose a kind of narrative framework: in the year 2020 he gives a commentary on today's Havana. By skipping about in the cutting, the experiences of the three women are told in parallel. Pérez: 'The end of the century in Cuba is very complex. A social crisis, lost illusions, insecurity, contrasts...' Pérez used the same cameraman as in Madagascar to achieve a similar effect, but then less cold. In addition he allowed himself to be inspired by the visual universe as it was created in the paintings of René Magritte. Thus the film comprises many comic-surrealist images, such as the scene where the narrator Bebe is standing on the bottom of the sea, grabs a fish and puts it on a hook.
Fernando Pérez
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1999
International title
Life is to Whistle
Audiovisuales ICAIC
Fernando Pérez