Back to Cuba

The first in today’s movie discussion extravaganza is also the one I saw most recently.¬†Back to Cuba¬†is a documentary that was shown at the GEF movie night last Friday. It follows a Cuban citizen who has recently moved back to the country after living in Italy with her husband for some years. While the main story is her attempts to renovate her grandparents house, the real impact of the film comes from its depictions of everyday life in Cuba after the recent changes. Changes such as the ability to run a business from your private home. We get to see a variety of different perspectives in the film: The woman’s difficulties in maintaining her business of selling imported goods, her friends lives in the country, what it is like to run a business in Cuba, and other snapshots of Cuban life. Personally, the most interesting part of the documentary was its exploration of how people living in Cuba viewed their situation as compared to that of other, capitalist countries. The predominant view was positive: most of the people asked were quite dismissive or contemptuous of the way of life often seen in Western countries. Most criticized was the lack of human interaction as well as the intense focus on work. Some Cubans who had traveled abroad saw positive aspects as well, and desired to return. However, even among this group there existed a preference for the Cuban lifestyle. I thought it was quite interesting to consider that even though people may be poor and you consider their lives miserable, they may be quite content and look at you the same way.

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