Return to Ithaca

Sun is setting on Havana. Five friends are gathered to celebrate the return of Amadeo after 16 years of exile in Madrid.

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  • ★★★★ review by Hans Morgenstern on Letterboxd

    To live in Miami is to know the Cuban exile experience, whether you want to or not. You can’t avoid it here. The croquetas are too good.But also many of your Miami friends and co-workers are Cubans, be they first generation Miamians or recent immigrants. It’s with this familiarity that I experienced Laurent Cantet’s moving and insightful new movie Return to Ithaca. It has yet to find U.S. distribution or even play a U.S. film festival, but I think it found the right place to premiere in the United States: The Coral Gables Art Cinema in Miami-Dade County.

    If there ever is a U.S. audience more sympathetic or aware of what it means to be Cuban, it is those living in Miami. This exile community suffers a very intimate kind of loss of their homeland, and it’s with little reservation that I would urge them to seek out this movie, co-written by one of Cuba’s most important living authors, Leonardo Padura. Based on a scene from his 2001 book La novela de mi vida, Return to Ithaca shows us how Cubans on the island suffer a complex yet exquisite kind of disillusionment. Over the course of one night, a group of five older friends, mostly in their 50s and 60s, turn reminiscences into a reckoning of their friendship as they struggle to come to terms with how the Castro regime shaped their fates...

    Read the rest of my review here:

    Independent Ethos

  • ★★★★½ review by Rogério de Almeida on Letterboxd

    belíssima discussão sobre a situação de Cuba disparada pelo retorno de um cubano exilado por anos.

  • ★★★★ review by cinemagazine on Letterboxd

    "Het is verbazingwekkend hoe de acteurs de aandacht anderhalf uur zo weten vast te houden, zonder andere gebeurtenissen dan die verteld worden. In dat opzicht is het eerder een visueel boek, waar de psyche van de personages de grootste rol hebben."

  • ★★★★ review by Adriii on Letterboxd

    Reproches y nostalgia entre amigos. Interpretaciones frescas, ritmo espléndido -con solo un pequeño bajón- y el reflejo de una cuba complicada, en una sola noche y con mucha naturalidad.

  • ★★★★ review by androb78 on Letterboxd

    Es cierto que resulta demasiado teatral, no por el hecho de reducirse a personajes hablando en un espacio casi único, sino porque se puede poco menos que cronometrar cuando le toca a cada uno tener su momento de lucimiento en forma de monólogo.

    A pesar de ello, tiene mucho mérito que una historia de cincuentones cubanos resentidos con el Régimen con los que nada tengo que ver, me atrapara como lo hizo.

    Su secreto: esa atmósfera tan especial que se crea entre los actores; una verdadera pandilla que rezuma realidad.

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