Havana Motor Club
Directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
Follows several of Cuba's top drag racers as they struggle to prepare their classic American cars for the first official car race since the Cuban Revolution. It tells a personal, character-driven story that tackles how Cuba's recent reforms have affected the lives of these racers and their vibrant community.
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★★★★ review by Destrades on Letterboxd
I will never have the amount of determination and grind required to start, restart, and start over again. Closed economic systems are brutal.
★★★½ review by Jason Wilson on Letterboxd
My review at Under the Radar:
★★★½ review by Joe Baker on Letterboxd
Viewed as a preview to 2015 Dallas VideoFest.
No "gearhead" intelligence is needed as Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt's documentary lays out the dynamics of Cuban drag racing's quest for legitimacy well. Following two sets of car builders and the tireless efforts of car lovers around Cuba to establish a racing order that matters, "Havana Motor Club" is a solid documentary that both explains and fawns over its subjects and their metallic creations. Quickly framing the back story of why car racing became banned in Cuba in the late 50's- and highly ironic that a country dependent on revolution would ultimately delete a certain freedom it fought to supposedly champion- the film forwards to modern day Havana and the car nuts who tinker, toy and modify every inch of their vehicles to satisfy their need for speed. It lags a bit in the middle, but it ultimately becomes a fascinating and entertaining examination of male bravado and showmanship.
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