Sin La Habana is a film about destiny, power dynamics, and prophecy through the eyes of its three main characters. Leonardo (Yonah Acosta) and Sara (Evelyn O’Farrill), a young Afro-Cuban couple, are desperate to leave the island.
They decide that the best way to emigrate is for Leonardo to seduce a foreign woman, get legal status in another country, and then send for Sara. The woman they choose is Nasim (Aki Yaghoubi), an Iranian-Canadian divorcée who is running from an oppressive past and yearning to have fun for the first time in her life. When Leonardo convinces Nasim to marry him, he is able to move to Montreal, but his plan derails when real emotions get in the way.
The above summary is only but one part of Sin La Habana. The protagonists stories and lives are much more complex. As outsiders looking in, we often do not know what other factors are at play in situations like those living in places like Cuba.
Sin La Habana offers but a glimpse into this complexity. It also somewhat addresses the role ‘outsiders’ or foreigners can play in these circumstances. It certainly presents plenty to think about.
Aside from the story, the film is a sensory treat from the visuals to the music. Both Acosta and O’Farrill are trained dancers, hence they are exquisite to watch on-screen. Yaghoubi holds her own as a complicated divorcée looking for something more in her life.
I also want to highlight the work of Director of Photography Juan Pablo Ramírez, whose work on this film is also stellar. I like the colour palette, the sense of time and space through the use of various angles. Great work.
Writer-director Kaveh Nabatian has put together a film that presents an interesting plot while also being a treat for the senses.
Below is my conversation with Nabatian about the film’s story, characters, music and so much more. I encourage you to watch the film to understand my appreciation for it.
Sin La Habana is currently available TVOD/Digital.