Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
Was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this due to its very propagandish subject matter but each story is dealt with immaculate cinematography that is absolutely breathtaking to gaze at. Many, many, many tracking shots that are just simply mesmerizing and truth be told, without the camera work, I’m not sure that I’d be as engaged into the story as I was, which brings me to what this film represents.
As some of you may be aware, I do not enjoy watching films that is setup to make you feel completely miserable. There are exceptions for some films, that especially deal with war themes (as one of the four stories showcases) but this film shows 4 stories, 4 issues, 4 perspectives and all 4 ends in despair. And I hate to be the one to say it, almost all 4 are completely preachy but in a beautiful visual sense. One story being about a prostitute who lives a double life. She sleeps with foreigners to just survive and the film follows around one of her “clients” as he gets disoriented while walking among the poor as the voiceover preaches about foreigners polluting the city... seriously? Lol I won’t get into the politics but I just highly disagree with some of the content that it’s preaching. Nonetheless, I find all 4 stories riveting but again, all 4 left me with this depressing cloud hovering over me long after the film ended.
Although I didn’t enjoy the vocal themes this film tackles, the film is a must watch due to its technical work and culturally importance. I’m sure people of Cuba will claim this to be a masterpiece and I for one won’t argue that but in my own honest opinion... there wasn’t enough cubano sandwiches.