More Praise for The Lost City

Julie E. Washington writes a very favorable review of the movie for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Some excerpts:

Andy Garcia revives old Cuba with style

“The Lost City” is director and actor Andy Garcia’s love letter to a place and time that have slipped into the shadows of the past.

Set in 1950s Havana, this stylish and beautiful film lingers on sun-drenched lawns, rooms half obscured in shadows and hip-swiveling dancers performing the mambo. Then it juxtaposes that beauty against the bloodshed of the Cuban revolution.

Dustin Hoffman has a strange but memorable turn as a mobster.

“The Lost City” is a bittersweet love letter to Cuba’s past. It is also a story of faith, hope and the resiliency of a people.

4 thoughts on “More Praise for The Lost City”

  1. That’s a great review. You know, each time I saw this film, there was more, it was more. Reading the reviews, from those writers who “get it”, and seeing and reading about audience reaction, ten years from now I predict “The Lost City” will be remembered as a landmark film. Yes, it is flawed, as life is flawed in its raw truth, and that ultimately is what this film delivers- the real Cuba, from a Cuban perspective. It took Andy 18 years to bring it to the screen, it feels like we’ve been waiting an eternity.

  2. After seeing “The Lost City, my friend Harpo ( has re-evaluated his childhood in Miami through a different lens. He grew up there, the child of transplanted Okies, and watched the Cuban diaspora. He has written a series of posts, some funny, some angry, some satirical, and some pensive. They are all worth reading.

    Here are some samples:

    On the Bay of Pigs:
    “He (Harpo’s father) was a Pan Am pilot, flying the Latin American routes, and at that time he had some opportunities to talk to various officials of government who were on his flights, plus he had some first hand experience with the odd flight in and out of Cuba and such.

    Somehow he had opportunity to speak to some of the frustrated people who were ordered to do nothing, while John Kennedy danced the night away, betraying our promise to men who we had helped to train, as they were left to fight and die against 40 to 1 odds, battling Castro’s Soviet supplied, led, and trained gang of communist forces…. His tirade at the TV added much to my vocabulary.

    “God damnit!! You two faced gutless wonder!! You son of a bitch!! That goddamned Jack ass Kennedy and his fop brother Bobby. The bastards!!” He ranted on and on.

    ….I remember him ranting after a trip, he had the honor of speaking with someone who had been released in the ransom deal where JFK paid Castro to release the men he had betrayed in the invasion. He was ranting on and on about how JFK refused to supply the air support that was promised and was a key part of the whole thing.

    ….He was so mad he was almost crying.”


    Che display at the V&A:
    He sent them an email saying,
    “I’m sure you agree that a similar study and exhibit of the Danish cartoons depicting The Prophet, bless ‘im, although they in no way glorified a modern day mass murderer, would stir public interest, and as suggested in the aforementioned correspondence, incite debate, and provoke thought.

    Perhaps you can offer a display of recent decapitation videos from Iraq, to explore art in death, separating, of course, any discussion of ideology from the actual art and ritual. Perhaps it could be titled, “Performance Art in The Twenty First Century”.”


  3. Ooops! Forgot this one! Harpo’s review of the movie and his visit to Havana airport when he was a kid (right after Castro’s takeover).

    “Many people might not get the movie, but I think it was very true to the time and feel.

    When I was a little kid, my father worked for Pan Am. My mother, brother and I flew to California several summers in a row. Due to the aviation politics of the time Pan Am could only have international routes, so we had to fly all over Latin America before arriving in San Francisco. This included Havana for the first couple of years. The last time must have been 1959.

    The year before had been nothing like that. A communist siege of a country is not the happy go lucky freedom fest these dumbass Hollywood people like Sean Penn, and numerous others would have you believe. Even people like Spielberg are enchanted with Fidel and indicate they’d give him oral sex to be his pal. These people are idiots in this regard. Obviously not stupid otherwise, but Fidel is a murdering tyrant and so was his pal Che. Luckily the movie demonstrates that.

    The climate of fear that last time I landed in Havana was not my imagination. I wasn’t a kid who cried much or was afraid of much at that age, and I could see a lot of people were rather scared and nervous. Especially people we were picking up to leave. They would not say how long we would have to wait or why. It was at least a couple of hours, just because they could.

    If you want to see where all the cultural denial, and political correctness and socialist hatred of the ever nebulous “rich” in the USA will lead, then just watch this flick.”

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